- Michael Owen has suggested the Premier League had dipped in quality
- The 43-year-old believes it is now easier to make it in the English top-flight
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Michael Owen has downplayed the quality of the Premier League after stating you can have a ‘decent career’ in the English top-flight simply by being an ‘athlete’.
The 43-year-old has enjoyed a career as a pundit after retiring from playing in 2013 following stints at Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle and Manchester United.
However, Owen – who is still hailed as the only Englishman to have ever won the Ballon d’Or – believes it is now easier for players to feature in the Premier League.
The division is widely-regarded as the most competitive league in world football, but, Owen explained ‘you don’t even have to be that good anymore’ to play in the Premier League.
‘Back in the day there were loads of great players that were absolute ballers, properly talented footballers,’ he told William Hill’s podcast Up Front with Simon Jordan.
Michael Own has downplayed the quality of talent currently featuring in the Premier League
Owen starred during his younger years at Liverpool before going on to play for other Premier League clubs
Owen suggested he would be as prolific as Man City’s Erling Haaland if he was playing in the modern Premier League
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‘Now, if you can just run a bit further than everyone else and pass the ball from A to B, then you can have a decent career in the Premier League. You don’t even have to be that good anymore.
‘You used to have to have real skill and attributes to be a top player – you had to be a footballer. Now you have to be an athlete.’
Owen scored 163 goals in 362 Premier League appearances with his most profitable spell coming at Anfield where starred at the start of the new Millenium.
Injuries plagued Owen with him eventually retiring at the age of 33 following a final year in the top-flight playing at Stoke.
The Premier League has continued to grow over the past decade with Man City striker Erling Haaland currently the most potent goalscorer in the division.
Owen has forged a career as a pundit since retiring from playing in 2013 at the age of 33
Owen believes he would be able to score goals at the same level as the Man City talent if he was playing in the Premier League nowadays while in his prime.
‘If I was playing in today’s game I would be scoring at the same level as all of the top strikers. I absolutely believe that,’ added Owen.
‘You look at some of the players in my generation, Brazilian Ronaldo for example – is Erling Haaland really better than him? Thierry Henry is another.
‘I love Haaland but can you really say that if you put Henry or Ronaldo in this Manchester City side, that they wouldn’t score at the same rate? Of course they would.’