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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

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Subotic: Kagawa can shine for United

Borussia Dortmund defender Neven Subotic believes former team-mate Shinji Kagawa can become a key player for Manchester United.

Kagawa, 23, signed for United last month after two years at Dortmund, during which time he helped the club win two successive Bundesliga titles and the 2012 German Cup.

And Subotic is convinced that the Japan playmaker will enjoy similar influence, and success, under Sir Alex Ferguson.

"He can be a really special player for Manchester United," Subotic told ESPN. "He came to our league having mainly played in the second division in Japan, but still had an immediate impact.

"He played such a big role in our success and he's still so young - he can definitely have a similar influence at United if he is given the chance.

"Of course, it will be harder than here. But if he's given time then there's no doubt the team will see the quality he has."

The arrival of Marco Reus at Dortmund has softened the blow of Kagawa's departure a little, but Subotic insists that even if Reus had not been brought in he would have been behind his former team-mate's decision to leave the club.

"Even if Marco Reus hadn't come in to replace him, I wouldn't have been disappointed for Shinji to move on at all," Subotic said.

"I am happy for him because he has taken the next step in his career and it's definitely one forward, not backward. I wish him well and I hope he gets quickly accustomed to the league so we can watch him play on TV."

"PUMA kicked off its partnership with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, unveiling the new 2012-13 home and away kit of the Bundesliga champions. Visit www.puma.com/football for details.

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