Football

Rio pleased by Owen capture

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Rio Ferdinand is backing Michael Owen to fire Manchester United to glory this season.

As a regular team-mate of Owen's with England, Ferdinand is acutely aware of the 29-year-old's predatory instincts and Ferdinand knows Owen could turn out to be a major factor in United's pursuit of an unprecedented fourth consecutive league championship. .

"He is one of those players you might not see for 90 minutes but in time added on, he will score a goal," said Ferdinand. "Those are the type of players you need to win things."

He added: "It is great to have him in our squad because he is such a good player and a fantastic lad to have around. Fingers crossed he can have an injury free season and score some goals for us."

With Fabio Capello largely ignoring Owen on fitness grounds since his installation as England coach 19 months ago, Ferdinand has been restricted to watching from afar as the reputation of England's fourth highest goalscorer took a nosedive.

After Cristiano Ronaldo left for Real Madrid in exchange for a whopping £80million cheque and Carlos Tevez made his bad-tempered way to Manchester City, the United faithful were hoping for a significant statement of intent in response.

The reaction to news of Owen being targeted as a replacement following the failed attempt to sign Karim Benzema was first stunned amazement, then dismay, before finally they arrived at a general feeling of nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Ferdinand probably felt the same, although his time with Owen wearing England's Three Lions gives him an insight available to few others.

"The lads get a great buzz out of seeing someone like Michael Owen score goals," he said.

"When he signed for the club there were a lot of doubters out there. People were saying all kinds of things about him. We have heard it all. But the players go in there with an open mind and just hope to see the player we know Michael can be."

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Topics:
Sunderland
Football
Manchester City
Millwall
Carlos Tevez
Michael Owen
Premier League
Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo
Rio Ferdinand

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