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Thursday 06 September 2012

Stoke City snap up free agent Michael Owen

Former Manchester United forward becomes Tony Pulis's seventh signing of the summer

Michael Owen has become Stoke's seventh summer signing. Photo: Phil Greig SCFC

Stoke City have announced the signing of midfielder Michael Owen on a one-year deal.

The former England forward became a free agent after three seasons at Manchester United and has officially become Tony Pulis's seventh signing of the summer following confirmation of his registration by the Premier League Board. 

A Premier League statement said: "The Premier League Board has confirmed to Stoke City the registration of Michael Owen. Consequently he can be included in their 25-man playing squad."

Owen joins Jamie Ness, Geoff Cameron, Michael Kightly, Maurice Edu, Charlie Adam and Steven N'Zonzi in joining the Potters.

The 32-year-old, who helped United claim the Barclays Premier League title during the 2010/11 season, expressed his delight at being included within Stoke's 25-man Premier League squad that was released yesterday.

"We have been in talks for a while and it was a club I was always keen to join"
Michael Owen

"Delighted to have signed for Stoke," said Owen on his Twitter account. "We have been in talks for a while and it was a club I was always keen to join.

"I'm particularly excited at the prospect of working under Tony Pulis. He has assembled a great squad that I look forward to joining. I'm now looking forward to contributing as much as possible to the club and can't wait to play in front of a great set of supporters.

"Thanks for your kind messages everyone. Can't wait to get going again!"

Owen came through the ranks at Liverpool and burst on to the international scene at the 1998 FIFA World Cup when scoring a memorable goal against Argentina.

He went on to establish himself as an England regular for the best part of the next 10 years, plundering 40 goals in 89 international appearances to become England's fourth-highest goalscorer.

Owen made his name as one of the Barclays Premier League's sharpest finishers at Liverpool, where he scored 118 League goals and won back-to-back Premier League Golden Boots in 1997/98 and 1998/99. 

He scored the winning goal in the FA Cup final two years later in a memorable 2000/01 season which resulted in the Reds claiming the League Cup and the UEFA Cup, while Owen was awarded the Ballon d'Or.

After moving to Real Madrid in 2004 he scored 13 times in 20 La Liga starts before returning to the Premier League with Newcastle United the following year. He scored 26 goals in 70 League appearances for the Magpies.

Owen then joined Sir Alex Ferguson's side on a free transfer in 2009 and scored five goals in 31 English top-flight sorties.

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Key Points

  • Michael Owen joins Stoke City on a free transfer
  • 32-year-old forward joins as a free agent after three years at Manchester United
  • Owen is Stoke's seventh signing of the summer