Michael Owen feels Rafael Benitez may regret offloading Gayle and Mitrovic

Liverpool legend-turned-pundit Michael Owen believes Rafael Benitez may regret offloading the likes of Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic during last summer’s transfer window. The Magpies had a genuine concern with their goalscoring last campaign and this saw them act upon the cause this term with an overhaul of their striking department.

Salomon Rondon and Yoshinori Muto were recruited to reinforce the attack front with the former arriving on a swap-loan agreement including Gayle but the pair have since struggled to live up to their expectations. Speaking on BBC 5 Live Sport, Owen acknowledged that his former side are not playing well and they may end up regretting the decision to let go of Gayle and Mitrovic, who have impressed for West Bromwich Albion and Fulham respectively this term.

Michael Owen poses question marks regarding Arsenal’s defence

Liverpool legend-turned-pundit Michael Owen has posed concern over Arsenal’s defensive record, despite their good start to the season, under manager Unai Emery. The north London giants begun the campaign with successive defeats in the Premier League and they have since sorted out themselves with a run on nine victories across all competitions.

Despite this, they have not been able to keep clean sheets of regular intervals and Owen believes Emery’s side could be found out when they come against some of the elite clubs, he told BT Sport: “From an attacking point of view, Arsenal looked back to the good old days; they've got players that can hurt teams. Against the big boys I think their defence might have a couple of question marks next to it.”
Arsenal’s defence had been a prime concern during the previous campaign as they shipped over 50 goals in the Premier League. In this regard, there has not been much improvement with the team continuing to ship goals but they have shown some progress in terms of the away run compared to the previous season.

Michael Owen admits disappointment after failing to seal Liverpool return

Liverpool legend-turned-pundit Michael Owen has admitted that he is still disappointed by the fact that he could not return to the Reds during the backend of his playing career. The former England international made a name for himself with the Reds between 1996 and 2004 where he contributed 158 goals across all competitions.

Speaking to The Football Ramble podcast, Owen stressed that he has no regrets for choosing to end his Reds stint for a move to Real Madrid but there remains the sense of disappointment of having failed to make an Anfield comeback, he said: “I was hoping I could always go back to Liverpool. That was the hope. But if I had said no [to Real Madrid] I just thought that would be an opportunity or an experience missed. I have no regrets and I definitely would have done the same again, it just so happened I couldn’t go back to my club. It never happened, I could never get back to what I consider my club and for that I am disappointed.”

Michael Owen speaks about Liverpool’s title prospects this season

Liverpool legend-turned-pundit Michael Owen believes the Reds should once more compete efficiently in the Champions League whilst making progress in the English top-flight. The Reds had an impressive 2017/18 season where they managed to end as the runners-up for the Champions League crown and they will return to the competition this term after finishing fourth in the league standings.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Owen spoke about the Reds success in reaching the latter stages of European competitions and believes they could replicate the feat once more this season. He added that the Reds should provide a better challenge in the Premier League this term, though the title could be decided by how reigning champions Manchester City fare through the campaign.

Daniel Sturridge surprised by Naby Keita’s qualities

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has admitted that he is surprised with the output provided by Naby Keita on the playing field. The Guinea international joined the Reds from RB Leipzig for a reported fee of around £52.7m this summer and he has since made a good impression in the pre-season games.

Speaking to Liverpool’s official website, Sturridge said that he has been impressed with the way Keita has coped since making the switch to Merseyside, he said: “I love that guy. I'm surprised how good he is actually, if I'm honest. I knew he was good but I don't watch German football too often. I haven't seen a midfielder like him for a while, he is something different. It's crazy. The things he can do with the ball – he can defend, he can pass, he can dribble, he is fast, he is strong. We share some good times and have a lot of laughs together. I like him a lot, he's a good guy.”

Michael Owen fancies Brazil to win the World Cup

Liverpool legend-turned-pundit Michael Owen has backed Brazil to win the World Cup finals in Russia after the disappointment in the previous edition in their home country. Writing in his column in Metro, Owen highlighted that Brazil are one of the most balanced teams at the global tournament and they just need to avoid the slice of back luck to secure another major trophy.

He penned: “This looks a beautifully balanced Brazil side who don’t need good luck to lift the Trophy – they just need to avoid bad-luck. I’m looking forward to seeing how the mercurial Philippe Coutinho dovetails with Neymar in tournament competition and Brazil look worthy favourites for the title.”
Brazil begun their World Cup campaign with a 1-1 draw against Switzerland and they appeared to be heading for a similar result against Costa Rica before late goals from Philippe Coutinho and Neymar secured a 2-0 win for the Selecao. As such, they are now the front-runners to progress beyond the group provided they avoid a defeat against Serbia and they could thereafter face Germany in the round of 16 stage.

Michael Owen believes Mohamed Salah will stay for the long-term

Liverpool legend-turned-pundit Michael Owen has praised Mohamed Salah for an excellent debut season with the Reds and believes the Egyptian will stay with Liverpool for the long-term. In a report covered by The Independent, he said: “He’s just had a quite brilliant season, an amazing season. He’s obviously been an outstanding signing. Even though he cost £37m, you would still say he has been one of the best pieces of business of all time. You could add £100m plus onto his value. He’s just been a staggering return on investment. The best thing about it is – in my humble opinion – is that he is at his end game as well. There is no point looking at figures or anything else, I think he is at Liverpool for the long-term.”

Salah has notched 44 goals over the course of the 2017/18 campaign and this has recently seen him awarded with the PFA and FWA Player of the Year awards on top of the Premier League Golden Boot. As such, there has been plenty of interest from Los Blancos ahead of the summer but the Egyptian has stressed that he has no plans of leaving the Merseyside club.

Michael Owen backs Brazil to win the summer World Cup

Liverpool legend-turned-pundit Michael Owen believes Brazil are the front-runners for the summer World Cup with a better-balanced squad than some of their competitors. The Selecao suffered a shocking 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany during the previous edition of the World Cup but Owen expects them to come stronger this time around with a great array of attacking talents at their disposal.

Speaking to The Daily Mail, he said: “They’ve two brilliant goalkeepers, they’ve got defenders, and they have that array of attacking talent with Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho. France obviously have a lot of good players but I’m a bit sceptical about them in tournaments. Spain and Germany I also like, but Brazil would be my idea of the strongest team.”

Michael Owen backs Brazil to win the summer World Cup

Liverpool legend-turned-pundit Michael Owen believes Brazil are the front-runners for the summer World Cup with a better-balanced squad than some of their competitors. The Selecao suffered a shocking 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany during the previous edition of the World Cup but Owen expects them to come stronger this time around with a great array of attacking talents at their disposal.

Speaking to The Daily Mail, he said: “They’ve two brilliant goalkeepers, they’ve got defenders, and they have that array of attacking talent with Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho. France obviously have a lot of good players but I’m a bit sceptical about them in tournaments. Spain and Germany I also like, but Brazil would be my idea of the strongest team.”

Michael Owen: It Would Be Disastrous If England Fail To Reach World Cup Quarter-Final

Former England international Michael Owen believes it would be pretty disastrous if the Three Lions fail to progress beyond the round of 16 of this summer’s World Cup. England have been pitted against Panama, Tunisia and Belgium in their World Cup group and further progress could see them face one of Colombia, Japan, Senegal or Poland in the round of 16.

As such, Owen expects his country to at least reach the quarter-final stage and anything short of that could be been termed as disastrous, according to the former Liverpool star. Owen told Gulf News: “I don’t see England within the top five or six to be honest. But they’ve been very lucky with the draw and even in the second round we’re playing against only an okay group, so in theory it would be pretty disastrous if we don’t get into the quarter-finals.We’ve said that before and got beat by Iceland of course.”

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