Why Michael Owen to Burnley isn’t a daft idea

Super MF, Flickr Super MF, Flickr
Jamie Smith August 30, 2012
Andrew Frost
Have to agree with Chris here. Can't see enough benefits ... 3 years ago

Michael Owen to Burnley. Sounds daft, yeah? Not necessarily, says Jamie Smith.

Bolts of inspiration come from the blue. I had one today. I’m not bragging. But here we go. Are you sitting down for this? Ready? Okay…

Burnley should sign Michael Owen.

I know. I know. There are dozens of barriers in the way of most transfers, but Owen to Burnley probably has a million and one.

Starting with the bare facts: we need a striker and he needs a club. Yes, wages are likely to be an issue. Michael Owen is a rich man. If he wanted to, he could play for the wages we could offer. Yes, he’s injured a lot. But Owen insists he is fit and any deal could be strongly weighted towards payments for goals and appearances. His wages and his hamstrings seem to be the major problems here.

But what have we got to offer a player like Owen anyway? At 32, the former England international has seen his career winding down since he signed for Manchester United. Offers are thin on the ground. Everton would appear to be his preferred choice, but David Moyes has lots of attacking options and it’s hard to see him using money for Owen that he could save and spend on a loan in January like Landon Donovan.

Appearing on Goals on Sunday recently, Owen insisted he is fit and ready to play. He seemed hungry to prove people wrong who say his career is over. But if he wants a Premier League club to come in for him, he might be waiting for some time. Stoke City have been linked with him, but can you really see Owen at the Britannia, feeding off flick-ons from Peter Crouch? I can’t.

Imagine Owen in Claret and Blue. Yes, he’s not the player he was. He’s nowhere near as quick. He’s not as reliable as he used to be. But playing off Charlie Austin, he could thrive. In recent years, Owen has played a new role. Instead of playing off the shoulder of the last defender, he drifts deeper into the gap between midfield and attack. This is the sort of area Burnley lack someone. Stephen Dobbie has been linked to Turf Moor and Owen would play a similar role.

Owen has said he won’t drop to the Championship. But at tea-time tomorrow, facing early retirement at 32, Owen might just change his mind. He wants to stay in the north-west, restricting his choice of club. Liverpool, United, Manchester City, Everton – none of them want him. Blackburn Rovers have just spent £8 million on Jordan Rhodes. There aren’t many other clubs.

The former England man has also said he wants to stay in football once he’s finished playing. We could offer him the chance to work through his coaching badges, learning under one of the brightest young managers in the game. Owen could be an asset both on and off the pitch for Burnley. We wouldn’t just be getting another attacking option, one of the sharpest, most instinctive British footballers ever, we’d be getting a potential future Burnley manager. Stop laughing at the back.

Charlie Austin is already among the best young strikers in the country. Imagine what Owen could teach him. How much would the likes of Shay McCartan and Wes Fletcher develop under his guidance?

Our physios might have enough on their plate with Danny Ings, Martin Paterson and players like Keith Treacy at the club. But offer Owen a year, even a six-month contract. To pluck some numbers out of the air. £10,000 a week for a year is £500,000. That’s almost certainly less than Sam Vokes is costing us with his fee and wages combined. Owen still look a stupid idea?

I’m not saying Michael Owen would come to Turf Moor for £10k a week. I’m saying we should give him the chance. What harm could a phone call to his agent do?

Can you see Owen at Turf Moor? Comment below.

  • D.Wright

    Can’t see it happening but it has it’s merits. Would be good to see another legend back at the Turf like Gazza or Ian Wright. Get Eddie on’t phone to him.

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to D.Wright

      I’m not saying there’s much chance of it happening, but it’s an idea. We need to look outside the box with signings and do need some proven talent up front. There’s only so far you can go with lower league signings.

  • James Poole

    Would be a good signing, it would boost the shirt sales anyway. Bit like Bellamy did at Cardiff, Imagine if we got Heskey & Owen we could have the Old England Striker partnership

  • Richard Moore

    I’ve just had a phone call from Michael’s agent. He says £500,000 is fine for him but what about Michael ?

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to Richard Moore

      Tell him no dice. I only want to deal with Mickey himself.

  • Ali Dia

    “To pluck some numbers out of the air. £10,000 a week for a year is £500,000. That’s almost certainly less than Sam Vokes is costing us with his fee and wages combined. Owen still look a stupid idea?”

    Yes, because we won’t make anything in return. £500,000 is a LOT of money, at least we have Vokes for 3 years and potential to make money back from selling him or get a few seasons from him.

    Would you not rather save the money and invest in a player who can give us a potential big money return like Austin, Ings or Trippier?

    • James Bird
      James Birdin reply to Ali Dia

      Using the numbers from last season’s Play-Off Final. Supposing that Owen did sign for us on a deal worth £500,000 pa, if he were to score the winner at Wembley to see us promoted we would make a 17,000% return on our investment.

      Now factor in how much more the Play-Off Final is worth to the promoted team this season… Unreal.

    • Jamie Smith
      Jamie Smithin reply to Ali Dia

      £500k isn’t that much. We’d flog a fair few shirts off the back of his signing, plus an extra few hundred on the gate. Sure, it’d be expensive, but if he got us promoted, it would be an absolute bargain.

      The question has to be: if money was no object, would you have him? If the answer’s yes, you’re just haggling over what he’s worth…

  • Andy

    Get this sent to club, can only help improve this season up to now!! Looking like it could be a long painful one if we don’t pick up are game!! Plus this could pull up are tickets sale and first team shirts as I’m seeing more of last seasons shirt than this season!!

    • Chris Stanworthin reply to Andy

      Thats because this year’s shirts are pants

  • Chris Stanworth

    I’ve seen some daft suggestions in my time, but this one is right up there!

    • Andrew Frost
      Andrew Frostin reply to Chris Stanworth

      Have to agree with Chris here. Can’t see enough benefits from signing an injury prone striker on huge wages to disrupt the close-knit squad