As Michael Owen’s impending retirement from professional football looms large, we debate whether or not the former England striker would make a Liverpool Team of the Century.
Now at Stoke, Owen’s career has significantly wound down over the past few years, but the fact that only three players in history have scored more England goals than him signifies his stature in the game.
And although he may have somewhat soured his relationship with Reds fans by moving to Manchester United, it is unlikely that Anfield supporters fail to recognise the massive contribution Owen made to some of their most successful recent times.
Despite failing to register a 20-goal Premier League haul across any of his seven full seasons at Liverpool, Owen’s goal tally across all competitions should be considered.
Within those seven campaigns, the striker did smash the 20-strike barrier on five occasions, when including his contributions in domestic and European cup competitions.
He almost single-handedly turned the 2001 FA Cup final on its head too, with his late brace against Arsenal ensuring the Reds landed the second trophy of a treble-winning season.
And it should also be noted that only once in those seven seasons, Owen’s seasonal goal average failed to exceed one in two, both in the top flight and in all other tournaments.
This led to his overall Anfield career statistics shining brightly, with a total of 158 strikes in 297 Reds games in all ventures hugely impressive.
Owen’s most regular strike partners should also be taken into account, when considering him for a place in a historical Liverpool line-up.
Whilst Emile Heskey was at the peak of his powers when turning out for the Reds, he was never truly a world-class striker in the way Owen was, and could on occasions leave the natural finisher wanting.
And although Robbie Fowler was a higher calibre partner for Owen, his natural goalscoring instincts, and selfishness in the box meant service was again lacking for the Reds prodigy.
All things considered, Owen was an integral part of one of Liverpool’s most successful recent outfits, and possessed a phenomenal scoring record for the club.
Those who remember him at his peak would have no qualms regarding his inclusion in a Liverpool Team of the Century, even ahead of Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.