St. Michael: G-Owen Home?
On the day Michael Owen's transfer to Real Madrid was confirmed, I was reminded of all the bad feeling I got when Robbie Fowler left. Batman had been discarded by Gerard Houllier, and now that a new manager and a new period of "building" was starting, Robin was making a run for it.
But as I watched it all unfold, I turned to the nearest guy to me, and assuredly scoffed, "He'll be back."
Fast forward four unsuccessful years. A part-time job as a Bernabeu bench heater, followed by a test subject for the Newcastle medical team, and suddenly, the words "Owen" and "Liverpool" are hooking together again like Velcro.
So, should Liverpool fans be dragging out their "Baby Faced Assassin" banners and giving him a fanfare, or do they have grounds for a certain amount of scepticism?
After all, when he left the Reds of his own volition, the board, with sleep-disturbing flash-backs to Steve McManaman's Bosman free transfer to Madrid, was forced to take a knock-down fee plus a surplus Real winger who only lasted one season at the club, for England's best striker and Liverpool's principal goal threat.
Now he's potentially coming back, at 28 years old, already being called a has-been by the critics. He's been dropped from the England squad, and struggles with injury.
But then there's the fee that's being mentioned. £2 million for a proven English goalscorer seems like the sort of January bargain you only see on the high-street during a recession.
His affinity with Liverpool could also mean a wage cut, and a willing acceptance of a second-fiddle role to a fit Fernando Torres.
So, what do we reckon? Open arms welcome for the Boy Wonder? Could our new Batman be about to get the old Robin? Tune in this January to find out. Same bat-time, same bat-channel.
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