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Hripsime Hayrapetyan

06-05-2020 | 17:23 Football

Jamie Carragher identifies moment in Liverpool youth he knew Michael Owen was "special"

Jamie Carragher has claimed he knew Michael Owen was "special" the first time he watched him playing in a game for Liverpool's youth side. Both players were from the Reds' academy, in separate age groups, with Carragher being the elder by two years. They first played together during the club's FA Youth Cup win back in 1996. Speaking about Owen, Carragher has shared his admiration for the teammate. He told Sky Sports: "He was a few years younger than me, and I always remember the youth cup run we had, under 18s, and we didn’t have great strikers in the team. It wasn’t like it is in academies today with players from round Europe it was just lads from round Liverpool. We got to the quarter final and [former academy director] Steve Heighway said, 'I’ve got a lad, he’s still at school, I’m gonna bring him in and play Michael Owen'. I didn’t know who this kid was. He came in and scored a hat-trick against Man Utd, so I think that showed straight away that this lad was something special." Owen made his first-team debut at the age of 17, four months after Carragher, and established himself as a goalscoring sensation for both the Reds and country. "I think he’s the one player if you ever spoke to the youth coaches at that time and certainly Steve Heighway, I don’t think there’s ever a guarantee with anyone, that they’re going to be a top player. So much can go wrong between the ages of 16 and 20/21. But I think with Michael Owen they already knew at 14/15 that this lad was going to be in the first team at 17 or 18. He was that special and that good. And to come in that night against Man Utd and get a hat-trick. He didn’t know any of his team, he was two years younger than everyone, you knew he was something special," Carragher added.
 Source: Daily Star

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