Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hargreaves eyes England return

Manchester City midfielder Owen Hargreaves has not given up hopes of playing for England, after scoring on his debut at Eastlands in the 2-0 victory over Birmingham in the Carling Cup.

The 30-year old has been plagued with injuries in the last four-years, and his career in the Premier League was in doubt when he was released by Manchester United at the end of the last season, after making just four appearances in the last three years for the club. Those betting online will be wondering if he can get back to his best.

However, he was given a surprise lifeline by the Reds' local rivals City, Roberto Mancini handed the midfielder a one-year contract, after he proved his fitness to their doctor Phillip Batty.

Mancini may be forced to use Hargreaves more in coming months after injuries to several of his midfield stars. The Italian will also lose Yaya Toure to the African Cup of Nations at the start of next year.

Hargreaves had been linked with West Brom, Leicester and Celtic before the move to the Blues. Roy Hodgson had offered him a pay-as-you-play deal, but the opportunity to play City was the chance to continue challenging for the Premier League title, and the added bonus of Champions League football. Fans of Betfair.com will be following his progress.

The former Bayern Munich man has targeted a return to the international set up, in which he has already picked up 42 caps for England. He was voted England's player of the year in 2006, and their best player in the World Cup that year in Germany. However, he has not played for his country since 2008.

Current England manager Fabio Capello hasn't ruled out a return for Hargreaves, if he can continue to prove his fitness and be successful at Manchester City. 

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