Why I fear this deal could haunt Rafa and Liverpool for years

Football FanCast guest columnist Dave Wright fears the decision not to re-sign Michael Owen could come back to haunt Liverpool for years.

When news broke yesterday that Michael Owen was set to be unveiled as a Manchester United player, I would be lying if I said I was slightly peed off. This isn't because I felt hurt or betrayed that he chose to cross the divide, but the fact I have been championing his return to Anfield for a long time now and I'm incredibly frustrated that Rafa failed to give him that chance.

Unfortunately like most things in football are once the whispers start it is very hard to stop them manifesting themselves. There have been some harsh reports with regards to Owen and how he will forever be a permanent sick note; how his horseracing has taken over his focus and many managers, chairman and ex players suggesting that he is washed up. Quite how someone who is 29yrs old can be considered finished is ridiculous to me, especially when you think of the abilities this player has got. He may not have had the best of times in the past few years at Newcastle, but you tell me a player that has. There is a saying in football that ‘you are only as good as the players around you' and that for me is the perfect sentiment of Michael's time at St James.

So why didn't Rafa give him a chance? I mean with money being as tight as it is then surely bringing in someone of Michael's abilities, on a free, would be too good an opportunity to miss. He wouldn't have cost much in terms of wages as Liverpool would have been able to negotiate a similar package to the one United have given him, therefore we would hardly be out of pocket if he didn't play. It really was a deal where there was everything to gain and really nothing to lose and it saddens me that we didn't take up the option to sign him, which I'm certain he would have jumped at. United are the ones who look set to benefit and I only hope that he decision not to take a chance on him won't come back to haunt us next season.