Injury-plagued midfielder Owen Hargreaves who left Old Trafford at the the end of the season has been linked with Neil Warnock’s Queen Park Rangers.
Hargreaves’ four year stay at Manchester United was a frustrating one and the former England midfielder has reportedly been offered a pay-as-you-play deal according to the Daily Star at the newly promoted Premier League side.
Most neutral football fans would agree that Hargreaves deserves another chance in football, despite his injury record and could prove to be a good option for a top-flight side in Europe if he can get back to anywhere near his best.
United fans won’t forget Hargreaves whose impact in his first season (which sadly turned out to be his only ‘real’ season involved with the first team) helped us win the Premier League and Champions League back in 2007/08.
Towards the end of the season he had a leading role in the team and aside from grabbing the headlines for scoring a winner against Arsenal at Old Trafford (with a free kick so delicate it simply chipped into the net like a golf shot) played arguably his finest game in Moscow against Chelsea in the Champions League Final.
It is worth remembering Hargreaves’ penalty in the shootout in Moscow which kept us within one of Chelsea in the final. Had he missed his spot-kick, then Ashley Cole would have had the chance to win Europe’s premier club competition and going on the basis that he scored his penalty in the shoot-out it probably would have been curtains for us in Russia’s capital.
Of course the last three seasons have been incredibly frustrating for our former no.4 and it was no surprise when at the end of the season just gone, that Hargreaves was released by the club. It wasn’t personal but it was simply business and it was time for him to move on.
It would be sad if he never recovers from his tendonitis problems which have wrecked both of his knees and never plays again at a decent level, as he had the potential to be a great for both United and England for many years to come. A move to QPR wouldn’t be a bad move for all parties involved.
QPR of course are not short of money and could afford to give Hargreaves a chance. I doubt he’d be asking for mega wages if he signs a deal with any club and does not come across as a ‘mercenary’ so to speak who is only interested in money.
There are rumours that two sides in his native Canada – Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps – are keeping tabs on Hargreaves and a move to the MLS wouldn’t be bad option for him, when of course he has little options at the moment.
One interesting sub-plot, that hasn’t been brought up regarding Hargreaves, is the fact that if he does decide to retire due to injuries, he could start doing his coaching badges to stay in the game.
With his experience that he’s got in his career, let’s not forget he’s a 2-time Champions League winner (after winning the competition with Bayern Munich in 2001), who’s to say he couldn’t become a good coach if given the opportunity?
After all he’s worked with three of the best managers European football has had in the last 10 years in Ottmar Hitzfeld, Sven-Goran Eriksson and of course Sir Alex Ferguson. So if he were to think about becoming a coach, he would defiantly have picked up a thing or two down the years.
By Adam Dennehey – @ADennehey87