The announcement by veteran Manchester United striker Michael Owen that he’s seriously considering hanging up his boots at the end of this season adds another name to the likely exodus from Old Trafford. It will force manager Sir Alex Ferguson to give his squad an almighty shake up not seen for many years. Owen says if he does quit, he would love to do it by winning either the Champions or the Premier League “It would not only round off my career, but put it to bed.” he said.
Owen will join a long list of senior squad members which could very easily include the long expected retirement of veterans Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Edwin van der Sar. Then there’s number two keeper Tomasz Kuszczak who has already made it known that he will be very likely looking elsewhere in an attempt to get regular first team football
The long awaited return from injury of Owen Hargreaves has still not materialised leaving his future very much in doubt. That will make a total of seven departures but there may be even more. The United careers of Wes Brown, Michael Carrick, Anderson, Darron Gibson and Park Ji Sung appear to be on shaky ground to say the least which will leave a hell of a gap in the 25 player list that Ferguson has to furnish to the Premier League. The frequent injuries which has kept captain Rio Ferdinand off the park so many times raises yet another large question mark.
It’s not all doom and gloom however thanks to the long term planning which Sir Alex has become so renowned for. He has a bunch of talented youngsters waiting in the wings just itching to step up to the plate. Cory Evans, Tom Cleverley, Richard De Laet, Magnus Eikrem, Danny Welbeck and so many others are very likely to join youngsters like Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, Federico Macheda, the Da Silva twins, Gabriel Obertan and Chicarito who have already been given considerable playing time in the senior side.
Ferguson will obviously be looking to supplement his playing staff with one or two major new signings but overall, next season promises to be a brand new look Manchester United which could become the final team built by Sir Alex before he himself brings down the curtain on his own, success drenched career.
Are you worried about the exodus or looking forward to so many new faces?