Belfast Telegraph

Warnock sees a wasted season for Owen

Michael Owen wasted the last year of his career at Manchester United - and with it a place in the England squad for the European Championships, according to Leeds boss Neil Warnock.

Owen has confirmed he will be leaving Old Trafford this summer after a three-year spell in which only 18 of his 52 appearances came in the starting side.

England will travel to Poland and Ukraine this summer with four strikers - Jermain Defoe, Danny Welbeck, Andy Carroll and Wayne Rooney, who is suspended for the first two matches, and Warnock said: "I think the strikers are a little bit short and a bit thin, with Rooney being suspended. I am sad Michael Owen has wasted a season."

He added: "It is great to play for Manchester United and all the trimmings (that come with it).

"But I would have loved him to have a season playing for a mid-table Premier League team because I don't see anyone better than Michael Owen in the European Championships squad.

"The only way he could have been picked would have been by playing.

"I think it is a waste he is not up for selection because at Manchester United he is way down the pecking order. I wish he'd have played, I am sure he probably thinks the same.

"I think some people are England players. Some people never rise to being an England player, Michael Owen has always played well for England.

"Even when he was having bad spells in the league form, he always rose to the challenge and you always saw goals in him.

"You look at the strikers that have been picked and I don't see a Michael Owen in there."

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