Should West Bromwich Albion or Leicester City really take this gamble?


It’s fair to say that Owen Hargreaves’ footballing career has come to a complete and utter stand still. It was only five years ago that the midfielder was the stand out performer for England during the World Cup in Germany.

This was no doubt the contributing factor that made Sir Alex Ferguson pay Bayern Munich the 17 million pounds in 2007 to bring him to England. His first season was a massive success, playing in 23 games, including the home game against Arsenal where he scored the winner, helping United to the Premier League and Champions League double.

However that was where it began to go wrong for the Canadian-born Englishman.  His persistent problems with patella tendinitis meant Hargreaves only featured twice in the 2008-09 season. Even after extensive surgery in America on both of his knees during that time and recuperation, Hargreaves has not been able to overcome the injuries and the last two seasons has seen him only played 6 minutes of first team action; as a substitute in the 93rd minute of the penultimate game of 2009-10 and just the initial five minutes of the first half against Wolverhampton Wanderers in November last season, having to come off with a hamstring injury.

For a club like Manchester United to constantly have a man out in the squad with the amount of games they have to play is simply unacceptable. Sir Alex and United have shown a lot of patience and understanding during the time he has been at Old Trafford but it was no surprise that Hargreaves was let go by the club in May.

Now the player must try and show he is still able to compete and be fit to play. And in a surprising turn of events, he did just that. In July Hargreaves posted a series of videos on Youtube of himself in training, to show potential employees that he still has the fitness.

And it worked as both Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion have been in contact with him about a potential deal. Both teams will naturally be wary of the player’s susceptibility to a reoccurrence of the problems he has had before.

However, I believe that they should take that gamble. Hargreaves is a fantastic defensive midfielder, he has played at the very top with the Red Devils and Bayern and at 30-years-old, he should still be able to play either in the Premier League or the Championship as with West Brom it would be less games meaning more chance of playing an entire season without having to think about Champions League as well. And then with the Foxes it would mean a lower level of play on top of the fact it would be less game time which would work for Hargreaves as well.

I’m sure that with the correct training and support there is no doubt that Owen Hargreaves can get back to a similar type of form that made him so outstanding five years ago.

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