The moment you’ve all been waiting for is nigh. Yes, it’s the return of Owen Hargreaves. No? Nothing? You remember, the United midfielder who used to play for Bayern. Looks a bit like the beardy one out of Flight of the Conchords. Canadian feller.
Well, anyway, he’s back: in the running to play against West Brom on Saturday. In all seriousness, he’s had a truly horrendous time of it with injuries. Hargreaves moved to United in time for the start of the 2007-08 season, signing for £17million from Bayern Munich. He scored a crucial goal against Arsenal in the run-in to United’s successful Premiership campaign of that season: with Cristiano Ronaldo lining up a trademark powerhouse free-kick in front of the Stretford End, Hargreaves lofted it over the wall to give United a 2-1 lead.
His second season was hampered by injury: he went to Colorado to see knee-specialist Richard Steadman; and as a result, didn’t make enough appearances for a second successive league winner’s medal. The midfielder’s only contribution last season was a fleeting appearance as a late sub against Sunderland, and he hasn’t made a start for the club in over two years now.
It’s a cliché to say that a player coming back from such a long injury is ‘like a new signing’. And in this case, a touch inappropriate. I just can’t see Hargreaves ever fully getting over this injury. Which is a real shame, because he’s a great player, one of England’s best performers at the World Cup in Germany four years ago.
Perhaps ‘like a loan signing’ would be more appropriate.
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