Rumour has it that Owen Hargreaves fancies a move back to England – another one of those “oh would you like to play in England sometime?” “Of course I would” type of interviews. What he’s said is pretty clear – he would go to England only if one of the big four (Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal or Chelsea) came calling. Pretty understandable, considering that he at a club that wins the Bundesliga at whim and gets to the quarter finals of the Champions League with ridiculous ease.
It worth remembering that by Hargreaves’s own admission he has talked to Arsenal in 2001 and Tottenham in 2004 – and said no both times. This time though, I’m wondering if he could be a potential answer to Manchester United’s midfield problems.
He has the right characteristics – the ability to play as a holding midfielder, Champions League experience, knowledge of the English game as well as the lack of any language barriers.
The only thing working against him is the big question mark over his performances for England. And yet our own Paul Scholes – phenomenal for United but at times invisible for England – is a good example of how not to judge players simply on their international form.
I’m not a fan of Hargreaves – his marking in the Hungary game (the move that led to a goal) was awful, even if the shot was from some way out. But if he can do the job, why not go for him? He would be cheaper than Diarra and there’s no reason why you could not sign both Diarra and Hargreaves (now that we have the extra money from the Obi Mikel settlement). Two midfielders with Champions League experience as well as considerable league experience are what we need.
No, I’m still not voting that we bring him in. But he IS an option. The only reason I’ll actually look at how he plays this summer (although deep inside I’m hoping he doesn’t play).