Shinji Kagawa

Manchester United legend Andy Cole has suggested that manager David Moyes should give Shinji Kagawa more playing time, claiming that the Japanese midfielder has the quality to succeed at Old Trafford after being the best Bundesliga player for two successive seasons.

The 24-year-old playmaker joined United in summer 2012 after the English giants paid £17m to secure his services, but the Japanese international has failed to prove his worth under either Sir Alex Ferguson or Moyes.

Even though Kagawa played half an hour during United's 2-0 defeat to Olympiakos, he has been an unused substitute in the last six Premier League games.

Asked about Kagawa's travails during an event in Japan, Cole told Manchester United's official website.: "Having seen Shinji play at Dortmund, I know for sure how good he is.

"He was the best player in Germany for two years. I believe he'll come back with some good displays."

After Juan Mata's January signing and the impressing emergence of Adnan Januzaj in the first team, Kagawa has started just seven Premier League games and is yet to score a goal this season.

"He is a quality player but he is not the only one who is finding it hard to get regular football. There are many top players in the squad and there is plenty of competition", Cole said.

At the same time, Cole urges Manchester United to retain hope of reaching the Premier League's top four, even though they are languishing in seventh place, 12 points off Manchester City, who have played one game fewer than Moyes' side.

"We need to win as many games as possible and a top-four finish is still a realistic target," Cole said.

"For whatever reason, it has been a tough season. But all the top teams will try to get better and we need to stay with them next year."