Retirement May Be Looming For Michael Owen


I could think of no better way of making my return to We All Follow United than writing an article about Michael Owen.

Owen was my football hero when I grew up and I loved watching him playing for Liverpool and England. I was rarely without Owen on my back as a youngster and I was heartbroken when he left the Premier League for Real Madrid.

Unfortunately, Owen’s career has been hampered by injury after injury and he is far from the player he once was and I was genuinely surprised when he was handed a year-long contract extension by Sir Alex Ferguson at the end of last season. He’s made just 31 league appearances in his 4 years at United scoring a measly 5 league goals and with that contract extension approaching it’s end one has to question: What’s next for Michael Owen?


Owen has expressed his desire to end his career playing at the highest level and has regularly hinted he would not want to leave United. However after yet another injury hampered season (Owen hasn’t featured since sustaining a thigh injury back in November) and a stream of talented strikers including Rooney, Chicarito, Danny Welbeck, Federico Macheda and Will Keane on the books I can’t see him remaining at Old Trafford for another season.


Owen wants to end his career playing top flight football but would he consider a move to another Premiership side? Rumours have linked Owen with moves to newly promoted Reading, Tottenham (In a double deal alongside Rio Ferdinand), Arsenal and QPR. If there was no extension on offer and a top-flight side made a move for him I’m sure United and Owen himself would be happy to make a move


Recent rumours have linked Owen to Championship side Brighton and Hove Albion and in my opinion this could be a deal that could work. United will be looking for a minimal fee for Owen, a fee that a Championship side could easily afford.

Brighton have a relatively young strike force, with 28 year old Craig Mackail-Smith being the oldest forward on the books, and a veteran striker like Owen could be brought in to provide some experience and leadership for the younger heads. However, the real stumbling block would be Owen agreeing to leave Old Trafford.

I think to revitalise his career and get another couple of years out of himself a drop down to the Championship may be the answer and if he can find his form there would be nothing stopping him from taking a team like Brighton up to the Premiership but in all honesty I don’t see him making the drop.


The most recent rumours to appear have linked Owen with a move to China. Reports have linked the 32 year with a move to join his former strike partner (and newly appointed manager) Nicholas Anelka at Shanghai Shenhua.

However since Anelka has taken the reigns there have been rumours linking everyone from Didier Drogba to Matthew Upson with a move to Shanghai and realistically I can’t see Owen making a move across the world. He’s a staunch family man and with his new found love of horseracing I don’t think he would up sticks and leave either of his life’s passions for a few years in China.

Really, for me, it’s Premier League or bust for Owen now. I really don’t see him staying at Old Trafford and if no other Premiership side comes in for him I can see him taking an early retirement from Football.

James Bayli

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