Football can be stranger than life sometimes. As the summer transfer window ended in calamity for Liverpool, the prospect of Michael Owen making a sensational return to Anfield has become more tangible in the last few days. Should Liverpool take the plunge on their fallen hero?
The facts for are hardly compelling. Owen has been discarded by United and struggled to find a club since despite being available on a free transfer. His last two seasons at United were shrouded in obscurity as the player generated more interest (very mild it must be said) on twitter than at Old Trafford. His fitness and form have to be considered doubtful at the very least.
A couple of weeks ago Owen appeared on skysports talking about his prospective plans and how he was determined to play for another premiership club than face the ignominy of playing in the lower divisions. He expressed his view that a player only has one career and he had no regrets about playing for United despite once being the darling of the Kop. A player he stressed must be distinguished from a fan, after all Everton was his boyhood club.
This writer has been none too impressed with Owen in the last few years. Yours truly could just about see the merits of Owen committing the cardinal sin of signing for Fergie, but when it became apparent Owen was to see minimal playing time, my reservations quickly turned to contempt.
Owen was coasting at United, seemingly happy to bask in the reflected glory of his teammates whilst earning a still substantial wage for sitting at his computer desk and looking after his horses. Once the best striker in the world, Owen was a now a distant memory. The sad part is the almost certainty that Owen would have been content to carry on like this had United let him.
Yet now we found ourselves with the chance that Liverpool will turn through desperation for this unwanted player. Will the fans ever forgive Owen if he returned? The answer is almost certainly not. Is that the most important factor? Unfortunately no?
A club must do what is feels is best; so what can Owen offer? Well for starters a recognized striker, the thought of Suarez getting injured is too painful too bear (the thus far unimpressive Borini missing games could actually help as it would help Suarez excel in the role of lone striker). Liverpool lack a goal threat, in Owen they have the finisher to take advantage of the numerous opportunities they create. Owens movement and sixth sense in the box will never vanish so what do Liverpool have to lose?
Well for starters their credibility, which has already taken a severe beating in the last three years, a club that is supposed to be heading in a new direction can scarcely afford such embarrassment. Letting Carroll go and failing to secure Demsey (a player I believe is hardly world class anyway) has once again turned the once lauded boot room into a laughing stock.
As ever with Owen he brings more questions than answers, he could yet provide what Liverpool need but his presence could also be detrimental to the fledgling Rodgers regime. The embarrassment of taking on a player who is deemed surplus to requirements at United makes the blood run cold, double so when it is a defector.
Earlier this year Owen called a fan a peasant on Twitter, something that gave credence to the mercenary allegations against him. This Liverpool fan dreads the thought of Owen smiling again in a Liverpool shirt but it seems Liverpool in recent years have tended to ignore what their fans have wished. Somewhere Bill Shankly is raging at what Liverpool are doing to themselves at present.
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