Former Liverpool captain Jamie Redknapp thinks that Michael Owen would choose to move to Liverpool or Chelsea if he were to return to the Barclays Premiership.
Jamie was unfortunately forced to retire from the game at just 32 years of age. He made this announcement over the weekend – after suffering for years with various injuries the latest knee trouble could just not be cured. He joins another Anfield legend – Alan Hansen – amongst those who’ve had to retire early thanks to knee problems.
Redknapp was speaking to the BBC’s Five Live on the telephone, and said that Owen would probably prefer a move back to Anfield most of all should he come back to play in England: "They always say don’t go back to a club but I don’t know – someone like Michael, if he goes back he will always score goals. That is a certainty. It’s home for him – that is the key with Michael."
Redknapp joined Liverpool from Bournemouth as a teenager. He originally stayed in digs with other Reds youngsters, although by the time he left Liverpool he was living in a high-class apartment with his wife Louise. Owen stayed with his parents as a Reds youngster, and after a couple of moves now owns his own mansion in North Wales, which he’s had customised to his own liking. Jamie thinks that home could be a key to where he prefers to play: "He’s got a lovely home up there that he would enjoy going back to."
Redknapp’s based back in the South now after his time at Spurs and Southampton, and thinks that Owen would also do well if he chose Chelsea: "If he was to come to Chelsea – that is the club at the moment, there is no doubt about it." Unlike certain members of the press, Redknapp feels a move to Old Trafford is unlikely for Owen: "Manchester United have had a mention – that would be a bold move. I would be very, very surprised but they have got Ruud van Nistelrooy there, they have got the best young forward probably in the world now, Wayne Rooney. I think if he is going to come back the chances are it is going to be Chelsea or Liverpool."
Redknapp was asked if he thought Owen would be better off back in England rather than staying to fight for his place in Madrid: "I’m sure he would benefit. People say he hasn’t quite hit it off at Real Madrid but on the other hand he has still managed to score goals for England when he has come back. Wherever the guy plays he will score goals – he is just a natural-born goalscorer."
Like Redknapp, Owen has always stayed away from publicity other than that when on duty for club or country. The Beckhams have always enjoyed their publicity (at least until recently) and have always been prepared to go looking for it, but Redknapp and Owen are happy to stay out of the limelight off the pitch. On the pitch though, Redknapp believes Owen will want to be seen more than he has been: "In time Michael will probably say it has helped his game playing over in Spain, playing for one of the best clubs in the world, it’s really good to see, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he did come back because I think he is one of those players who needs to feel loved."
Redknapp continued: "He hasn’t played every week – they have got Ronaldo and Raul who seem to be the manager’s favourite partnership so it is going to be hard for Michael to break through."