Could Michael Owen really retire at the age of just 30?
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On the subject of his future, Owen would appear to be clear in his mind about one thing. When his time at the very top level is over – he is out of contract at United at the end of the season – he won’t be hanging around.
‘I could score goals at this level for many years and I would love it to be at a top club like United,’ he said. ‘Of course I would love to stay here. Whether I would want to be dropping down to a poorer Premier League team, I don’t know.
‘Yes I could score goals but I would probably get less enjoyment. You are playing with great players here and you do get chances. At a lesser team it would be harder.
‘There are some strikers that you look at and think, “You couldn’t play in a good team”. They are built to be tough, win balls and flick-ons but if you are looking for the ball to be played in to feet and use clever flicks and one-twos they would just get shown up.
‘I just don’t feel that my game is suited to a team who are really struggling.’ (Daily Mail)
When Michael Owen scored his 39th and 40th international goals against Russia on September 12th 2007, I fully expected him to go on to break Sir Bobby Charlton’s all time England goalscoring record.
After all, he was just 27 years old and already over 80% of the way there.
I could see no end in sight for Owen. He may have been a rather old fashioned striker – a rare sort at the top level today – but when he was needed he always seemed to come up with the goods.
His contract runs out at the end of this season, but with Dimitar Berbatov and Javier Hernandez in great form, Wayne Rooney due back from injury, and even Federico Macheda and Bebe possibly above Owen in the Old Trafford hierarchy of strikers, it remains to be seen where his future lies.
On a more sombre note, with Owen currently the victim of another hamstring strain, whether Manchester United would offer him a contract extension remains to be seen.
Still though, his career at the highest level has been quite exemplary, and he has made the very most of his abilities at Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle and Manchester United.