Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp believes Liverpool made a costly mistake by not re-signing Michael Owen – who he still rates as one of the best strikers in the game - and allowing him to join arch-rivals Manchester United.
Owen netted over 150 goals in a scintillating eight-year spell at Liverpool, but the Merseyside club opted against bringing the England striker back to Anfield during the summer.
Instead, Sir Alex Ferguson signed the 30-year-old on a free transfer from Newcastle United and has been re-paid by some recent high-quality performances.
Meanwhile, Rafa Benitez’s side have endured a terrible start to the campaign, with six defeats already in the league all but extinguishing any lingering title hopes.
And Redknapp believes Owen's former employers must be kicking themselves for not snapping up the striker when they had the opportunity.
“Sir Alex has already turned to one golden oldie and is getting the rewards for backing his judgement in signing Michael Owen when few would touch him,” Redknapp said in The Sun.
“I reckon Liverpool must be looking at Owen now and wondering why they didn’t try to get him back at Anfield – when Fernando Torres is injured who do they have?
“If the truth be known, Owen would probably have loved to have gone back to Anfield for a second spell and I can just imagine him running on to passes slid through defences by Stevie Gerrard.”
Despite starting just three league games in 2009/10, Owen has defied his critics who claimed his best playing days were behind him after a series of serious injuries.
The former Real Madrid forward rolled back the years with a clinical hat-trick in United’s recent victory over Wolfsburg in the Champions League – taking his tally to seven goals so far this campaign for the Red Devils.
And Redknapp believes Owen has the right attitude to succeed at Old Trafford and wouldn’t be surprised if he ends this season with a Premier League winners’ medal around his neck.
“For me, it was a no-brainer when Owen became available and his hat-trick for United in Germany against Wolfsburg was a master-class in finishing and demonstrates that class is permanent, form is temporary,” he said.
“Owen took a little time to find his feet at Old Trafford and knows he is not going to play a part in every game – this is where his temperament kicks in.
“He is mentally tough enough to accept the situation if he is on the bench and accept the challenge on the pitch.
“Michael has already played in enough games to get a title medal should United manage to overhaul Chelsea at the top.”comments