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Season Review: Shinji Kagawa

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Bayern Muenchen v Borussia Dortmund - DFB Cup Final 2016 Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

A BVB fan favorite for years (even when he wasn't on the team) Shinji Kagawa went through a transformative year at Dortmund. From losing his starting role, to working his way back to the first team, to finishing the year in his best form yet, Shinji had a busy year.

Positives

Shinji had his best year production wise since his last full season with Dortmund in 2011-2012. With 13 goals and 13 assists in all competitions, and a big chunk of time spent on the bench, Kagawa was a chance creating machine.

In his first 5 games of the season, he either scored or assisted(or both) in 4 of them. He went on a simmilar run near the end of the season where he he scored or assisted in 6 out of 7 games between weeks 26 and 32. Kagawa proved this season that he can be a positive force off the bench(Wolfsburg in the Hinrunde for example) and be a solid starter.

Also that three assist game against Augsburg was amazing.

Negatives

Kagawa had lots of trouble this season as well. he fell out of favor with Tuchel for some time. Between weeks 13 to 28 he played a combined 636 out of a possible 1,440 minutes. although he still scored off the bench in some of those games,the equalizing goal against Werder Bremen for example, he also struggled to fit into the team during that time as well. Rumors of a rift between him and Tuchel were persistent and even though both denied them, Tuchel's sideline anger at Shinji definitely showed something was wrong.

In addition to some struggles in the league, Kagawa was almost absent in Europe. His only contribution was an assist in the groups against FK Gabala. He wasn't chosen to play in our first game against Liverpool, and was no help in preventing the terrible collapse against them in the next leg.

The Future

As Ilkay Gundogan is leaving, and no veteran center midfielders are currently on the rumor mill for BVB, Shinji Kagawa will still have a place at BVB next season. After a great finish to the season where he proved him and Castro can play together, our midfield looks to be set for the beginning of next season. Having just turned 27, hopefully his best years of football are still ahead of him.