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Is Roy Hodgson right to take a risk on this ex-Manchester United star?

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England midfielder Owen Hargreaves may have the opportunity to resurrect his injury ravaged career with West Bromich Albion after manager Roy Hodgson offered the former Manchester United a lifeline.

Tentative enquiries have been made by both parties is an attempt to reach an agreement, though no firm offer has been made. Hargreaves’ former England boss Sven Goran Eriksson, now at Leicester has also expressed an interest but surely the lure of the Premiership will to good an offer for him to turn down.

The question remains is he a player worth taking a risk on? Having made just 39 appearances for Manchester United in four years since his £17m move from Bayern Munich in 2007 Hargreaves has spent far more time in the treatment room than on the training pitch.

Although his injury record is off putting he is still a player of great pedigree, having won four Bundesliga titles during his time at Bayern, as well as the European Cup, and then after his move to United won the European cup for a second time in 2008 as well as the Premier League.

He has not only had success at club level, Hargreaves has represented England on 45 different occasions scoring two goals and was arguably his countries stand out player in the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

The worrying factor that Hodgson must consider is that his injury problem is specific and not just a number of niggles that have left him sidelined. He has had surgery on three separate occasions in an attempt to cure patellar tendinitis in both his knees, and thus far has failed to make a successful comeback.

The player himself has now taken drastic measures in attempt to prove his fitness to prospective suitors by posting fitness videos of himself completing rigorous exercise routines on youtube.

Hargreaves will have been given some hope by the fact Stoke City manager Tony Pulis decided to take a similar risk on another injury prone player, Jonathan Woodgate. Pulis made it clear that Woodgate was being signed because when fit he was a player of superb quality and ability and someone that could really add something to the Potters defence.

Woodgate has initially been given a one-year deal with the prospect of a further two years if he can prove his fitness and become a regular starter. The deal must come as major a boost to the player himself who since being released by Tottenham had only really been courted by Leeds United.

If Hodgson was to take a risk on Hargreaves the deal would almost certainly be a pay-as-you play contract and again with the added incentive of further years if he can put his injury worries behind him. It should certainly seem low risk in the eyes of Hodgson as no transfer fee would need to be paid, if he’s not fit he won’t play and won’t get paid and if the move does end if failure it will have cost W.B.A virtually nothing.

Hargreaves pedigree speaks for its self and there is no doubting his talent and if fit he could really add something to the team. Hopefully the midfielder can put his injury nightmare behind him and Roy Hodgson will take the gamble that could turn out to be the bargain of the century.

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