Shinji Kagawa out-starred Wayne Rooney: Fergie explains striker’s substitution, but denies PSG rumours

By Chris Bailey

Sir Alex Ferguson may have shrugged off rumours over Wayne Rooney’s future, but the Scot insisted Shinji Kagawa is the man in form.

Rooney was hauled off in United’s draw against West Ham instead of the Japanese playmaker, who shimmied his way into setting-up Antonio Valencia in the first-half.

But Ferguson was quick to dismiss increasing speculation surrounding a potential Rooney move to Paris Saint Germain – before admitting he regretted taking off Kagawa for Javier Hernandez.

“I don’t think there is anything in it at all,” said the Scot.

“As far as taking him off the other night, it was simple – he wasn’t playing as well as Shinji Kagawa was.

“In so many games Wayne Rooney is better than most players. But on the night Shinji was playing so well.

“The ironic thing was, when we were chasing a goal with 14 minutes left, I decided to put Chicharito on and Shinji made the second goal.

“I’d already given the fourth official the card, Chicha was standing on the touchline and then we scored the second goal.

“I think if I’d have changed my decision then we would have won it.

“Shinji was doing really well but unfortunately he came off. Chicha came on simply because you always think he’ll get a chance in the game.

“At that point we wanted to win it and you make decisions like that that maybe are not fair.”

Injuries and struggling to adapt to a more direct English game prevented Kagawa from taking the Premier League by storm following his £17m move from Borussia Dortmund.

But Ferguson hinted at a bigger role for the silky midfielder – who scored a hat-trick against Norwich City last month – before the season’s end.

“He’s doing very well for us now,” Ferguson added. “He has fantastic composure on the ball and his decision-making is good.

“He has a good selection of passes – he seems to always pick the most sensible one.”

Image courtesy of MUTV, via YouTube, with thanks

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