The majority of focus has been on the acquisitions Manchester United made during the recent transfer window. However, I’m wondering whether a certain departure could have a bigger impact not necessarily on the field, but off it. The club have put years of effort and strategic commercial plans into growing and expanding their presence in Asia but have they made a commercial mistake by selling Shinji Kagawa?
With the signings of Dong Fangzhou in January 2004, to Park Ji-sung in July 2005, to Shinji Kagawa in June 2012 (all pictured below), Manchester United have coupled a highly successful drive in commercial partnerships in the continent with having an Asian player in the squad. After the sale of the latter back to Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United will have no Asian player in the squad for the coming season and I’m wondering whether this will have an affect on their popularity in the continent.