4 - Owen Hargreaves Profile

Manchester United conducted a long and public pursuit of Owen Hargreaves, their patience paying off late May 2007 when they agreed a deal to sign him from around 17m from Bayern Munich. The size of the deal represents not just Hargreaves' international experience and time in the Bundesliga, but also the high regard he is held in by Sir Alex Ferguson.

Since he made the English national team under Sven Goran Eriksson Hargreaves has divided opinion in his adopted country. Eriksson picked a player he recognised as an astute, mobile and versatile footballer with a superb level of physical fitness. Hargreaves' critics in England saw him as a one-dimensional and largely ineffectual player whose record of 39 caps was entirely testament to Eriksson's favouritism.

The debate over Hargreaves went on in England largely because he was based in the Bundesliga and few people saw him play for Bayern Munich. With his move to Manchester United the Canadian-born midfielder will be under the microscope right from the off, but it is clearly a pressure he relishes. During six years in the Bayern Munich first team the 26-year-old became a integral player and it is notable that in his last season at the club as Bayern disappointed finishing in 4th place in the Bundesliga, Hargreaves managed just 9 games due to broken leg.

How he will fit into United's midfield alongside Michael Carrick (a player with clear similarities to Hargreaves) remains to be seen but his first season at Old Trafford will be closely watched.

Related Owen Hargreaves News

  • Hargreaves to leave United

    Owen Hargreaves will not be offered a new contract by Manchester United after his injury hell of the last three years.

  • Fergie rues Hargreaves 'disaster'

    Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has labelled Owen Hargreaves' injury in Saturday's 2-1 victory over Wolves "a disaster"

  • Duo out of United squad

    Owen Hargreaves and Bebe have been left out of Manchester United's UEFA Champions League squad.

  • Hargreaves makes United squad

    England midfielder Owen Hargreaves has been named in Manchester United's 24-man Premier League squad, despite ongoing injury woes.

  • Ferguson dilemma over crocked pair

    Sir Alex Ferguson admits injured midfielders Owen Hargreaves and Anderson may be left out of Manchester United's Premier League squad.

  • Fergie drops Hargreaves hint

    Sir Alex Ferguson has hinted he will not blood Owen Hargreaves back into his first-team amid reports he will not play for Manchester United this season.

  • Hargreaves comeback confirmed

    Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that Owen Hargreaves will make his long-awaited return from injury next week.

  • Hargreaves reveals injury heartache

    Manchester United and England midfielder Owen Hargreaves admits he has struggled to come to terms with the true extent of his injury nightmare.

  • Hargreaves could make run-in

    Sir Alex Ferguson has refused to rule out the possibility of Owen Hargreaves making a comeback this season.

  • World Cup blow for Hargreaves

    Owen Hargreaves' World Cup hopes are in doubt after being left out of Manchester United's squad for the UEFA Champions League knock-out stages.