Rooney backs Owen to shine

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Wayne Rooney is predicting Michael Owen's move to Manchester United will give the England sharp-shooter a new lease of life.

Owen's career appeared to be heading for the buffers until Sir Alex Ferguson stepped in with the offer of a two-year contract which could turn out to be one of the Scot's masterstrokes.

And Rooney believes his international colleague is ready to explode again after scoring on debut against a Malaysia Select XI, saying: "He looked really sharp in training. He is working very hard and you could see by the way all the lads celebrated with him how pleased they were for him when he scored. This move will give him a new lease of life."

He added: "Over the last couple of years Michael has had some criticism but it would have been difficult for any player to score in the Newcastle team he was in last season," said Rooney.

Rooney opened United's account on Saturday with a tap-in on Saturday and then set Nani up for their second.

And if one man is going to profit from Cristiano Ronaldo's world record £80million exit, it is surely Rooney given he can now abandon his station on the wing and resume a forward role in which Fabio Capello feels he has few peers in the world game.

"We haven't spoken about it but I am sure that is where I'll play," he said.

"Everyone knows it's my best position. I enjoy it more than being out on the flanks -- it's less work and you get more chances to score. As a forward that's what you want."

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Michael Owen
Premier League
Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo
Wayne Rooney

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