Former England striker Michael Owen has revealed that he came close to joining Manchester United when he was just 12 years old but he is still unsure about the comments made by Sir Alex Ferguson in his recent autobiography that he would have turned out to be a better player had he joined them earlier.
According to Owen he was 12 years old, sitting in Ferguson’s office at Old Trafford and the legendary Scotsman looked straight into his eyes and asked him if he wanted to play for Manchester United. Owen stated that the answer was an emphatic no because his heart was set on Liverpool but he did admit he was flattered to see Sir Alex remember the event still and writing about it in his autobiography.
In his book Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography, the Scotsman stated that had Michael Owen joined the club when he was 12 years old, he would undoubtedly have become one of the greatest strikers of all time. He went on to add that the lack of rest as well technical development in those early years at Liverpool hindered his progress.
Owen also revealed that merely a week before that meeting with Sir Alex, he was with then Arsenal manager George Graham who asked him that same question, as did Chelsea boss Glenn Hoddle. He mentioned that he was with Liverpool at that time and that he was on a fact finding tour and it was easy to see what they thought of him.
Owen did, however, play for Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United when he was snapped up as a free transfer in the summer of 2009 and although injuries limited his time at the club, Michael Owen admits that he immensely enjoyed his time at the club and winning the Premier League was a great achievement.