Hazard or Kagawa: Who got the better deal?
With almost £50m reportedly laid out to bring Eden Hazard and Shinji Kagawa to the Premier League, did Manchester United or Chelsea get the better deal?
SHINJI KAGAWA (Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United)
Deal agreed (subject to medical) on June 5th 2012.
EXPERT VIEW FROM GERMANY
Tobias Hlusiak (Eurosport.de) - Shinji Kagawa arrived in Dortmund two years ago as a complete no-name. Within the first two months of his time here everybody knew him. On and off the pitch he performed as an extraordinary sportsman and fantastic player.
He lived in downtown Dortmund, in a street where no cars were allowed to drive. So he always had to walk around, which made him very special to the fans. They loved him, and still do.
Kagawa is a magician on the ball. Mats Hummels once called his dribbling skills and moves on the pitch “just crazy”. He also knows how to move off the ball and find space. He can score goals out of nothing, because he is always prepared to take on his defender one-on-one. His passes are always right on time, something Mr Rooney will surely benefit from. If he doesn’t have the ball, he is running his heart out (If he did for Klopp, be sure he’ll do it for Fergie). His size is perhaps the only thing that could count against him.
There’s every chance Shinji will make his mark in English football. United’s fast football is a perfect fit for him, and he could shine even in his first season.
EDEN HAZARD (Lille to Chelsea)
Deal confirmed in full June 4th 2012.
EXPERT VIEW FROM FRANCE
Gil Baudu (Eurosport.fr): Hazard is a great talent, the best there was in the French championship. With Lille, he played on occasion on the left side, but more often than not just behind the forward.
Hazard is a very fast player, skilful on the ball. He plays with both feet. He's also stronger than he looks and not prone to injuries. At Lille he has played over 100 consecutive games in the league.
This season he has become more efficient and complete as a player, scoring 20 goals and providing 15 assists.
He hasn’t got many faults, but if I had to find one, I'd say that his heading ability could be improved.
I think he has all the qualities to become a star in England. Premier League defences will suffer. At Chelsea, the team will probably be built around him. The future coach, whether it’s Roberto Di Matteo or someone else, should install him just behind Torres: he would have so much freedom and quickly show why Chelsea spent so much money on him.
HEAD TO HEAD
How both players adapt to the Premier League remains to be seen, but it looks like both sides have got footballers who will add another dimension to their play.
United might suggest that they have several million pounds in the bank to go out and improve the squad elsewhere as evidence that they got the better deal.
But on the other hand, they were the only club in the running for Kagawa, while both were chasing Hazard.