Michael Owen Reportedly Will Join Stoke City

Ben Chodos@bchodosCorrespondent IISeptember 4, 2012

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 20: Michael Owen of Manchester United waits for a corner kick during the first half of the game against the Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field on July 20, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Michael Owen has finally found a team and he will reportedly play out the 2012-13 English Premier League season with Stoke City.

John Percy of The Telegraph reported that Owen will receive a “pay-as-you-play contract” that gives him “a substantial basic wage with substantial incentives for goals.”

The 32-year-old striker had not previously received any offers after his contract with Manchester United expired this summer and the club did not give him a new deal. 

Stoke added midfielders Charlie Adam and Maurice Edu before the transfer window closed, and now Owen will bolster their depth at striker.

Owen was once one of the top forwards in the world and he possessed a lethal combination of blinding speed and clinical finishing. He started his club career with Liverpool where he scored 19 league goals in consecutive seasons in 2001-02 and 2002-03.

His star power drew the attention of Real Madrid, and the Spanish side paid £8 million and Antonio Nunez to make Owen its next Galáctico in 2004. His stint in Spain did not last long and despite 13 La Liga goals, he was back in England with Newcastle after just one season. 

But once he returned to his home country, he was a much different player whose career started to be derailed by injuries. He missed significant time during his years with the Magpies and his world-class pace was gone when he was on the pitch, making him a significantly less dangerous player. 

Prior to the 2009-10 season, Sir Alex Ferguson made a somewhat surprising move by adding Owen to the United squad as a reserve striker. He showed that he could still opportunistically finish his chances, but rarely looked to be a danger up top for the Red Devils.

Now, the Potters will hope Owen can still be economical with the ball in front of goal.