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Jul 30, 2014

Shinji Kagawa tested in deep role

ESPN FC's Diego Arrioja recaps Manchester United's penalty shootout victory over Inter Milan after a scoreless draw in the International Champions Cup.

Louis van Gaal said he is experimenting using Shinji Kagawa in a deeper midfield role as he tries to find a place in his Manchester United team for the Japan international.

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Kagawa has told the Dutchman he prefers to operate just behind the striker but Van Gaal, whose squad also includes Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Adnan Januzaj, has said that he has four No. 10s and appears to prefer to pick the Spaniard as the bridge between midfield and attack in his 3-4-1-2 formation.

But Val Gaal, who has been without Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini for United's preseason tour of the United States, has used the lack of central midfielders to give Kagawa a chance in a different position.

Shinji Kagawa has been tried in a variety of roles in preseason.

"I know him from Borussia Dortmund and he played in the No. 10 position," the former Bayern Munich boss said after United overcame Inter Milan on penalties in Washington.

"I wanted to try him in the No. 6 or No. 8 position in our system in the first two matches, and then I also gave him a chance at No. 10 because he wanted to play in that position. He did it much better than in the two matches before."

England winger Ashley Young has also been used in a new role, deployed as a wing-back on either flank in Van Gaal's system, and is confident he can adapt.

He told United's official website: "It's been good to play in the different positions. I started on the left [against Inter] and ended up on the right. I can play in both wing-back positions and if the manager calls on me to do something I've got every confidence in myself to go out there and play well."

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