After what seemed like a lifetime of speculation, Michael Owen finally set his heart on Stoke City in what was an expected move by members of the BetVictor football community.
Media and bookies had tipped Owen to move to the Potters, despite late rumours linking him back to Merseyside with either the Reds or his boyhood club Everton.
Owen, who once featured prominently in Liverpool betting markets, made his first appearance in two years against Manchester City at the weekend, but there’s one huge question overshadowing the move. Can Owen still compete at this level?
Thousands have taken to Twitter to tell Owen just how bad they think he is, as well as some more derogatory comments. They will be plenty more that will agree, but this writer certainly doesn’t.
It’s staggering to think that Owen, who seems to have been around for a lifetime, is only 32. He’s had injuries and lost some of his pace. However as the old saying goes, class is permanent.
He will need a run of games, service and maybe time but give Owen a chance in and around the box and nine times out of ten you will have a goal in your favour. His experience will be invaluable to the dressing room and more importantly Owen knows how to play with fellow striker Peter Crouch.
A first-team chance might not come for some time due to Stoke’s style of play and good form at present. But when it does expect Owen to be firing on all cylinders, and if given an opportunity he could help take Stoke to the next level.
To some football fans, Stoke have taken a risk which will fail. For me they have signed one of England’s greatest ever strikers for one last hoorah.