Owen’s summer search for a club ends at Stoke

September 5, 2012 in Premier League, Transfers

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Michael Owen has finally ended his summer search and found a new club in Stoke City on Tuesday, putting pen to paper on a twelve month deal with the Potters. However, the club have to wait for Premier League approval after having already submitted their 25-man squad for the season, which didn’t include former England striker Owen. He waited until the last moments of the transfer window, which shut at 5pm, to see what deals were available until he finally committed to Stoke, admitting he was ‘delighted to be at Stoke’ - but in turn, that delay in decision has cost both parties and could still see further complications.

It has to be said, Michael Owen was going to be a good signing for any mid-table side. We all know injury has hampered his career, but wherever he goes, he scores goals. Granted, he isn’t a world-class striker that will guarantee you at least 20 league goals a season, but he will score. His stay at United didn’t see him play a big role, especially after injury once again hampered him last season, but we still saw him net 17 times in 52 games (a lot of which were substitute appearances) in his stay at Old Trafford. Yes, not prolific, but still averaging a goal roughly every three games. He never really had a long run in the first eleven to cement his spot either and was frequently injured; if kept fit and in the side, he will be a threat to any defence.

While there was talk of Owen completing a return to Liverpool after spending three years at rivals Manchester United, their was also talk of him completing a move to Everton. I think he would probably have been one of the most hated players in Liverpool fan history if he had - United was bad enough but Everton was just the next level. He’s 32 now, could he have really ended his career at bitter rivals Everton after growing up on the other side, scoring over 150 goals for Liverpool, the club who made him a professional footballer? I’m sure those very thoughts swayed his decision; I’m certain he would have liked to have been remembered at his boyhood club as a success, not the player who switched for their rivals ten years down the line.

All in all, we’ve got at least one season of watching a Crouch and Owen front line partnership (unless Owen gets injured again, which wouldn’t be at all surprising, let’s be honest), it could be amazing but it could also be just as dreadful, asking too much of the England’s oldies. Owen knows how to score, 221 goals in 472 games, so he knows where the net is. Whether he suits Stoke’s style of play under Tony Pulis, however, we’ll just have to way and see, but realistically, if Owen is kept fit, on form and playing regularly, I see no reason why he couldn’t net 10 league goals. I wouldn’t call him a write off just yet.