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Premier League Transfer News: Michael Owen set to join Manchester United in shock move

Premier League RSS / / 03 July 2009 / 2

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Michael Owen has always had his doubters but Ralph Ellis believes that by bringing the striker to Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson will pull off the transfer coup of the summer. Meanwhile, there has been a dramatic response on Betfair's Top Premier League Goalscorer market...

Glenn Hoddle, memorably, said he was "not a natural goalscorer". Eleven years later and there are still those who question Michael Owen's ability to stick the ball in the net. And that's despite 40 goals in 89 England games, and 157 from 322 Premier League matches.

Sir Alex Ferguson is clearly not one of them and has pulled off the transfer coup of the summer by stepping in to collect the 29-year-old striker. Owen, according to today's papers which have clearly been well briefed both by Manchester United and by the player's agents, will sign at Old Trafford in the next few days after completing a medical.

I was amazed that it was only been the likes of Hull and Stoke who have been linked with Owen until now, while Sam Allardyce at Blackburn actually came out and said he would be too much of a risk. In fact it's amazed me for years that none of the Champions League sides have wanted to buy a player who has been his country's best finisher. When Liverpool didn't want him any more he had to go to Real Madrid. Whenever they let him play he scored goals but they still didn't want to keep him - and amazingly only Newcastle would take him then.

Okay he's said to like a bet, but that's hardly a crime. And there's never been any other hint that he's not a complete professional. It's almost as if other clubs have stood back this summer and wondered "what's the catch?" Here's a top, top player, who is only 29, whose injury record isn't great for a season or two but plenty have suffered worse, who is the sort of marquee name that would attract other players, who gets goals. Yet the likes of Aston Villa and Everton, clubs trying to take another giant step forward, have shied away from signing him.

Now Fergie has stepped in and as a bit of business it looks brilliant. Needing to replace Cristiano Ronaldo's sixty odd goals in two seasons, he's signed one of the few players capable of producing the same haul, especially in a team that makes chances. And he's still got the mind blowing £80million fee in the bank.

Owen's odds to be top Premier League goalscorer have been crashing as a result. He was matched at a price as high as [95.0] a week or so ago, but by this morning had tumbled to [15.5] and falling.

By getting the deal done this week United can give him the one thing he needs most - a proper pre-season fitness programme - and have him fit and flying when the campaign kicks off. Can he play with Wayne Rooney? That's already been established at international level. Glenn Hoddle might have had his doubts just before the 1998 World Cup but they were answered emphatically with that goal against Argentina. All the clubs who worried this summer might just find they are on the wrong end of the same sort of emphatic answer.


Here's five of the best bargain Premier League transfers

1. Brad Friedel, moved from Liverpool on a free transfer and then broke Blackburn's appearance record before they sold him on to Aston Villa for £2million.


2. Zat Knight, who cost Fulham 30 track suits to sign from Rushall Olympic and then played for England before, guess what, Villa signed him for £3.5million


3. John Barnes. Watford forked out for a new set of playing kit for the 17-year-old winger's club Sudbury Court long before the one time dazzling winger, who is now Tranmere manager, won his 79 England caps


4. Gary Pallister. This deal was a bit more expensive - a bag of balls and a goal net as well as some kit when Middlesbrough bought him from Billingham. They sold him to Manchester United for a British record £2.3million


5. Ian Wright. A heavy duty fee for Crystal Palace who gave Sunday League side Greenwich Borough a set of weights when they signed the man whose goals took them to an FA Cup final before he became Arsenal's record scorer.

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  1. Dave | 03 July 2009

    How about hes injured all the time and his wage demand is excessive. If he goes United i hope every scouser boos him.

  2. linda | 04 July 2009

    gud job by man utd,owen is an excellent player he will score loads for man utd.