Now that Real Madrid have snapped up Robinho, the buzz is that Michael Owen is considering a move away from the Spanish capital and possibly on his way back to England.
The speculation is quite understandable, of course, since now with Robinho’s arrival, Owen will be facing competition for a starting place from the likes of Ronaldo, Raul, Robinho and Baptista. Given the fact that he was warming the bench quite often last season before the Brazilian invasion, it’s likely he could be seeing even less playing time this season.
And with the World Cup just a year away, he needs to be playing regularly.
But this is stuff we all know. The stuff we want to know is this: where is Owen headed off to next?
I, and any other Liverpool supporter, would be delighted in having him back at Anfield, but the fact is, we now have enough striking options already, whether or not Baros does move to Germany (and it looks like he will very soon). And seeing how Rafa’s the kind of man who plans everything in minute detail, simply bringing Owen in just for the sake of some sentimental nostalgic longing doesn’t sound like something he’d do. It looks like we’ll be starting the season with Cisse and Crouch as our front two (The C&C Scoring Factory?), with Morro providing valuable cover, so adding Owen into the mix now could disrupt things.
So, sadly, as bitter as it must be for Liverpool fans to accept, it looks like Owen might just be end up signing for one of our rivals.
People might say, well what’s the big deal? Some of our former stars (e.g. McManaman, Fowler) have also joined other Premiership clubs and played – and even scored – against us.
Well, in the case of McManaman, he joined Man City after his prime, and has never been a major asset for them anyway. Fowler continues to be a shadow of the amazing striker he once was, and is therefore no threat to us.
But Owen.. well, Owen is still the undisputed first-choice striker for England. Even during his limited playing time for Real, he still managed to rack up about 16 goals. He has a deadly eye for scoring opportunities and is extremely clinical in finishing them off.
As such, he will be a very valuable asset to any team – and very dangerous for any opposition.
Again, all this won’t mean too much to us Reds if he was going to be joining one of the second-tier big names around, like Newcastle or even Spurs (who really pulled off a coup by signing Edgar Davids). But the big news from the major media organisations is that the team currently favourite to land Owen’s signature is none other than Manchester United.
Chelsea don’t seem to be interested (although I would not be surprised if they placed a last minute bid), and Arsenal are keeping very quiet. The funny thing is, although all these teams are our rivals for honours, I’d much rather see Owen at Arsenal rather than at MU.
I mean, it just won’t be right, will it? It’s like how MU supporters must have felt when Ince joined us in ’96/97. There was open-hostility towards the Guv’nor from the MU supported whenever we played them, and he didn’t make things better with some ill-conceived comments about the Devils and Sir Alex.
I just hope we won’t have any reason to be hostile towards Owen. He deserves our respect and admiration, for all he has done for us.
Maybe if we’re lucky, he’ll get a thigh strain everytime we’re due to play them…