Football

Bullish Owen ready for United challenge

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Doubts may have been expressed about the wisdom of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson signing Michael Owen but the two men themselves are convinced the deal will be a success.

Unlike at Newcastle - the team Owen left on Wednesday - at Old Trafford no one individual is held up as a talisman or a saviour, as highlighted by the £80million sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Madrid. With other players to do much of his running and greater creativity around him, Owen has the best environment in which to succeed.

Owen said: "Right throughout the squad they are obviously a fantastic team with fantastic players, that's why they've all won so much throughout their careers, and hopefully I can jump on the bandwagon, score a few goals, and help us to further success."

There is little financial risk to United, who have signed the player on a free transfer, as Owen can no longer command the £110,000-a-week he was on at Newcastle.

He may not be the marquee name fans were hoping for after losing out to Real Madrid in the £30million pursuit of Lyon striker Karim Benzema, with the club also likely to suffer the same fate with Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery.

But at 29, if he can keep himself free from injury, England's greatest modern-day goalscorer may yet have a significant part to play in United's history over the course of his two-year contract.

For the player himself it provides one final chance to prove wrong the doubters - England coach Fabio Capello included - who claim he is finished after four years of injury torment at St James' Park.

United, unlike their other top-four rivals, also present the greatest chance of winning silverware; something Owen has not done since he lifted the League Cup with Liverpool in 2003.

"Manchester United, you automatically think winners, you think trophies, you think the stadium, the massive fan base, but until you sign you don't really let yourself get carried away," said Owen.

"There's so many top players here, obviously it's a very exciting time for me."

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Topics:
Football
Michael Owen
Premier League
Alex
Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo
Liverpool

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