Stoke City striker Michael Owen has claimed that having to play so many games as a youngster at Liverpool has since caught up with him and is the reason behind his constant injury woes, the Daily Mirror report.
Owen came through the Liverpool youth set up as one of the brightest players this country has ever produced, but years down the line the former England forward is plagued by injuries.
Such was Owen’s promise at Anfield that he quickly became a key player in the side and played every single game that he was available for, whether it be in the league, cup or Europe. Playing so many games at a young age, where his body may not even have fully developed yet, is part of the reason he is so unfit now according to the player.
Sir Alex Ferguson claimed this week that Owen’s downfall in his career and his injury issues are down to Liverpool’s poor handling of him as a young player breaking into the first team.
“Sir Alex had made some comments suggesting that I would have been a better player had I been managed more effectively in the early part of my career,” said Owen on his official website.
“I have to agree with most of what he said except the usage of the word ‘better’. In my opinion, had I been managed differently I would have been at my best for longer as opposed to being a better player.
“As a youngster, I was considered exceptional and in many ways, that was to my detriment.
“While I was playing every game available to me, there was another young kid in the Liverpool academy called Steven Gerrard who was also showing huge potential.
“Unlike me, who was playing 80-odd games a year, Stevie just couldn’t stay fit. I am convinced that this played to his advantage in the long run.”