Owen regrets not leaving Man Utd earlier

Former England forward Michael Owen insists he should have left Manchester United before his release this summer.

Owen was released after having made only four first-team appearances for United last season.

The 32-year-old was urged to remain at United by manager Sir Alex Ferguson a year ago.

Owen has now joined Stoke City on a one-year contract.

“In hindsight, probably with that extra year, it might have been better if I had moved in many ways,” he said.

“I was on the bench a lot of the time, but then when the manager says ‘you have a big role to play and we want you to stay for another year’, it was great to hear that from someone like Sir Alex Ferguson.”

He added: “I want to perform and I want to finish my career on a real high. I’m still only 32 and I still feel as if I have a lot left in me.

“I’ve always scored goals, no matter what team I have been in, so as long as I can stay fit and healthy, then I’m sure I can do that here at Stoke.”

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