TRANSFER deadline day was a frustrating day for Liverpool fans, myself included. After Andy Carroll was loaned out to West Ham on Thursday, Liverpool were expected to sign a replacement on Friday before the transfer window closed. Instead, the club and its fans waited… and waited… and waited. When it was revealed that Tottenham were closing in on signing Clint Dempsey for £6m – and Liverpool were either unwilling or unable to offer Fulham more than £4m for the American – it became brutally apparent to Reds fans just how little money the club had left in the bank.
Brendan Rodgers made no attempt to hide his frustration with Liverpool’s deadline day activity, or lack thereof, in the press conference that followed the team’s 2-0 defeat at home to Arsenal. When asked if he would have let Carroll go to West Ham if he had known he would not be able to sign a replacement, Rodgers said “no“. When asked how confident he was that he would be able to sign a replacement for Carroll before the transfer window closed, Rodgers said “very“. Then, perhaps most intriguingly, Rodgers was asked if he would consider signing Michael Owen, who as a free agent can be signed outside of the transfer window. He responded: “Any player that I believe can improve the squad I will look at. We have got a very, very small squad with some very young players in it. So I can’t say no”.
In other words, Rodgers refused to rule out a move for Owen, and of course the media picked up on this. But given that Owen spent the last three seasons playing for our bitter rivals Manchester United, how would Liverpool fans respond to a second coming for the striker who was once their favourite son? Personally, I’m able to look past the three years Owen spent at Old Trafford and I hope other Reds fans can do the same. The 32-year-old proved at Man Utd that he is a useful squad player and given our shortage of striking options, I feel Owen can still offer something to Liverpool. Despite his age and fitness problems, one thing Owen hasn’t lost is something the club desperately needs – the ability to put the ball in the back of the net.
In three years at Man Utd, Owen has managed 17 goals in 52 appearances. It is hardly a prolific scoring ratio, but with just two senior strikers at Liverpool, Owen would be a worthy backup for Luis Suarez and Fabio Borini. He would be a more reliable option than unproven youngsters such as Adam Morgan, Dani Pacheco and 18-year-old Samed Yesil, signed from Leverkusen for £1m. Owen would be a short-term fix and would only be worth signing on a 12-month, pay-as-you-play deal… but Owen would surely jump at the chance to play for Liverpool again, even if it was just for one season.
A poll on Goal.com suggested that Liverpool fans would be open to an Owen return – when asked if Brendan Rodgers should sign the striker, 77% voted yes. However, whether or not Owen gets to follow in the footsteps of Robbie Fowler by returning to Liverpool for a second spell remains to be seen.
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