Former Manchester United and injury plagued midfielder Owen Hargreaves has put pen to paper on a one-year deal at Manchester City, in what is arguably the most shocking move of the transfer window. Hargreaves, who was released by Manchester United due to his inability to recover from his long term injuries which kept him out of first team action for long, after his contract expired at the end of last season, was a free agent up for grabs for suitors in the transfer window. While concerns over his fitness lingered when Manchester United released him even as the player was willing to extend his stay at Old Trafford for free, Hargreaves took it upon himself to prove his fitness by posting Youtube videos of his training drills to attract suitors.
Light at the end of the tunnel appeared for Hargreaves as West Bromwich Albion showed interest and were engaged in serious talks over a potential deal at one point. However the negotiations did not materialise in a deal and Hargreaves was left with limited options. It was then that Manchester City appeared with a lifeline deal which could be a final opportunity for the 30 year old England international to salvage his career. Doubts linger though as to how much first team action Hargreaves can get in a team like City which has a plethora of superstars in the line-up given that the player is looking for as much playing time as possible to resurrect his career and make a dash for the England squad in Euro 2012. Manchester City, meanwhile, are looking to have an experienced cover for every position on the pitch and if Hargreaves can get back to anywhere near his best of old, he can act the perfect back-up to Nigel de Jong as the midfield enforcer.
A two-time Champions League winner with Bayern Munich and Manchester United, Hargreaves’ career went into a downward spiral as recurring knee injuries plagued his career ever since his second season at Old Trafford began. Multiple surgeries, rehabilitation camps and failed attempts to make a comeback later, the Hargreaves mission was deemed a failure by United and the player was last seen in action in a match against Wolves where he lasted 5 minutes before he did his hamstring. How effective the move to Manchester City proves to be in Owen Hargreaves’ career is an exciting puzzle which remains to be solved this season!