Gerard Houllier has admitted his interest in giving Michael Owen the chance to resurrect his career at Aston Villa after a disappointing spell at Manchester United.
Owen has seen his first-team chances limited at Old Trafford since signing for United on a free transfer at the start of last season, starting only 12 games in all competitions and recently admitted his frustration of being on the fringes of the action.
However, Houllier knows of Owen’s finishing instincts all too well from their time together at Liverpool and feels he still has plenty to offer, despite losing some of his pace and his proneness to injury.
Houllier told French television station Canal Plus: “Owen has always been in my thoughts. I like him as a player and a man. He still has the legs for it.”
A player of Owen’s style could be a valuable asset for Villa and they were linked with him during the same summer that he was snapped up by Sir Alex Ferguson.
Owen could prove the fox-in-the-box type striker that Villa lack, while his clinical nature could add a new dimension to their attack.
Gabby Agbonlahor has pace to burn and runs the channels well, but can lack a cool head in front of goal, while John Carew and Emile Heskey are not as prolific and are selected more for their physical presence.
However, Agbonlahor will be keen to grab his first goal of the season in the next game against Bolton, who are a team he has enjoyed facing in recent seasons at Villa Park.
The England striker has scored four goals in Bolton’s last three visits to Birmingham and is 4/1 to open the scoring this season.
Meanwhile, Villa are 4/5 to beat Bolton for a fourth time in six games and a fourth time in succession at Villa Park.