Michael Owen Can Restore His Former Glory at United

illya mclellanSenior Analyst IJuly 17, 2009

Sir Alex Ferguson's recent statement that United would not make any more transfers in this window was greeted by some with surprise and many with a worrisome remark.

Ferguson went on to say that the big spending clubs were ruining it for everyone else in increasing the value of players to exorbitant levels. United's biggest signings have been Valencia from Wigan and Micheal Owen on a free.

There seemed to be expectation everywhere that United would make another big purchase and they may still but no one really knows until the window closes.

At this stage, it seems that Owen will be one of United's go-to players, with him getting the legendary seven jersey. Worn in the past by such gifted players as the legendary George Best and England stalwart Bryan Robson, as well as the never to be forgotten Frenchman Eric Cantona, not to mention Beckham and the recently departed C. Ronaldo.

It is a signal for the player and the world that United and Ferguson expect a certain level of excellence from the former Liverpool and Real Madrid man that they also believe he can deliver.

Owen now has the opportunity to go out where he once was.

Winning trophies and representing England at the World Cup is the reward that awaits him if he can recapture his excellence with a new game that relies less on pace and more on guile and precision. The role of the converter of built up chances that rely on possession and passing precision in and around the area.

Based on his efforts with Newcastle last season, it seems Ferguson still sees some of the world beater in Owen and in the cosmopolitan Premier league being a world beater is vital.

Interestingly, as Tevez leaves a small quick skillful player is brought in to play a similar role. Ferguson did seem to labor over the decision to let Tevez go and in Owen he may think he has a suitable replacement. 

Perhaps the type of player who can step up to the unenviable position of emulating some of the greatest players to have graced Old Trafford with their own brand of skill.

For three or more seasons Owen can play the role he always dreamed of at a premier European footballing power, though admittedly there will be concern over possible injuries.

Remembering the injury problems he began to suffer at Anfield there may even be certain Liverpool supporters that in the strangest way might like to see Owen play well as long as it isn't against them. That could just be an illusion though.

But there is no doubt that fans of the game everywhere would be overjoyed to see Owen representing England in South Africa 2010 again after his personal disappointment in Germany 2006.

A shark in the 18-yard box, he is able to lurk about until an opportunity arises and make a telling contribution without ever taking center stage until the goal itself is scored.

Despite this talent he does have an oft-forgotten ability in the procurement of chances for team mates though in doing this he does benefit extremely if the ball is passed back to him from his initial pass.

All the ingredients of a player that United are used to in the contributions of C. Ronaldo and Ruud Van Nistlerooy. The 'tap in guy' to put it plainly. The 'tap in guy' is invariably someone who becomes very important to a team because of the instinctual finish they provide to potential scoring moves.

This was seen for United previously with the two aforementioned players and notably elsewhere with Inzaghi or even Shevchenko (before his move to Chelsea) both at AC Milan.

Owen again has the opportunity to be one of the worlds most feared strikers, it will be interesting to see if he can do it and possibly legendary if he is able to pull it off.