Jamie Carragher: Michael Owen made a mistake joining Man United
Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher believes striker Michael Owen made "a mistake" joining Manchester United in 2009
Jamie Carragher believes former Liverpool striker Michael Owen made “a mistake” joining Manchester United in 2009.
The 33-year-old, who announced his plans to retire at the end of the season on Tuesday, left Liverpool for Real Madrid in 2004 after failing to agree a new deal at the Merseyside outfit in a move that irked many Reds supporters.
Owen came close to rejoining Liverpool after one season in La Liga but Newcastle United won the race to sign the England striker with a £16m offer.
Carragher revealed his former team-mate almost completed a move back to Anfield in 2009 after his Magpies contract expired, but Rafael Benítez preferred to sign David N’Gog ahead of Owen.
And the centre-half, who is also set to hang up his boots in the summer, believes Owen ended any chance of reconciling with Liverpool fans when he moved to Old Trafford.
“Liverpool supporters did not take too kindly to the way he left but I’m a firm believer that time is a healer and I’m sure they would have welcomed him back after his contract at Newcastle had expired,” Carragher wrote in his column in the Daily Mail.
“I had heard he was thinking of joining Manchester United but he would have jumped at the opportunity to come back to Liverpool. He would have been happy to be a squad player and was excited at the opportunity to return home.
“The way he left Liverpool had saddened Michael and he wanted the opportunity to redeem himself. I sent Rafa Benítez a message explaining what Liverpool could get on a free transfer but Benítez instead went out and bought David N’Gog.
“Joining United was a mistake. It ruined any chance of him repairing things with Liverpool fans and it’s safe to say United supporters never really took to him despite his famous winner against Manchester City.”
Owen scored 17 goals in 52 appearances for the Red Devils, winning his only Premier League title in 2011.