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Kagawa confident he can adapt to Premier League
MANCHESTER, England (AP) Japan playmaker Shinji Kagawa labeled his move to Manchester United as the greatest challenge of his career Thursday, describing the pressure of playing for such a high-profile club and adapting to the Premier League as significant tests.
The 23-year-old Kagawa, who is United's first ever Japanese player, signed a four-year contract at United to move from Borussia Dortmund, which won the Bundesliga and German Cup double last season.
"I'm a member of a great club at Manchester United," Kagawa said Thursday. "I think I can handle the pressure and am pretty confident I can adapt to the style of the Premier League."
United manager Alex Ferguson enthused about Kagawa's record in scoring 21 goals in 49 appearances for Dortmund since joining in 2010 from home club Cerezo Osaka.
"We shouldn't be looking at one player changing the way we play, but he could make a difference," Ferguson said. "If his goal-scoring record continues he could be a very good player for us."
The Japan international, who will wear the No. 26 shirt at United, was presented Thursday alongside Nick Powell, the 18-year-old midfielder signed from third-tier club Crewe Alexandra.
Powell has represented England at youth level and scored a memorable goal in Crewe's 2012 playoff final victory over Cheltenham Town at Wembley Stadium in May.
Ferguson may not be done yet with signing players with more than six weeks left in the transfer window, saying "we could possibly bring one or two more in."
Meanwhile, Ferguson confirmed that Darren Fletcher is struggling to overcome a bowel complaint that has kept him out of action since December 2011. The 27-year-old midfielder has ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammation of the digestive tract.
"He has obviously got great challenges ahead," Ferguson said. "We are happy to be patient but he won't be starting the season."
Man United begins its Premier League campaign at Everton on Aug. 20.
Updated July 12, 2012