Michael Owen Relishing Competition For Place In Stoke City First-Team

Former England striker admits he will have to work hard to gain a starting role.

New Stoke City signing Michael Owen is relishing the challenge of competing for a starting spot at his new club.

The striker joined Stoke on a free-transfer in time to be registered in their 25-man Premier League squad after being released at the end of his contract by Manchester United, and the former England star has admitted he doesn’t expect to walk straight into the team, reports Sky Sports.

Owen burst onto the scene with Liverpool as a 17-year-old and made his debut for England the following year, but in the latter stages of his career he has struggled with a series of injuries and fitness troubles and it is long since he has shown his best form.

However, Tony Pulis has thrown a lifeline to the 32-year-old in offering him a one-year deal at the Britannia Stadium, much to the delight of the front man who continually reiterated his desire during the summer to continue playing in the Premier League.

He must now prove his fitness and scrap it out with his former England strike partner Peter Crouch, Kenwyne Jones, Cameron Jerome, Jonathan Walters and Mamady Sidibe for a starting spot for the Potters.

Owen made just 31 appearances in his 3 seasons at Man Utd, scoring 5 goals.

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