Michael Owen has boldly claimed that Man Utd’s squad is not too dissimilar to rivals Liverpool – despite the Red Devils finishing 31 points behind them in the table last season.

The former England striker played for both teams during his career but believes there is little to choose between them.

Owen told ESPN that whilst Liverpool’s recent success has pitched them ahead, he feels United are still recovering from the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson .

“A lot of people will obviously say when you have a manager that is there for that long then it’s very difficult for the next manager just to go and pick up the baton and continue it,” Owen said.

“But I think not many people would have envisaged the extent let’s say of the decline since.

“There’s been some trophies won along the way obviously which has smoothed things over a little bit but in general, when you watch Manchester United now, it is a shadow of the previous teams of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign I guess, and it’s going to take some building.

“I don’t necessarily think the players are all that bad, I think when you look at other teams, look at Liverpool for example, are Manchester United players far inferior to Liverpool’s? I don’t necessarily think so.

“But do Liverpool’s players play with a greater understanding, a great cohesion, a lot of confidence? Then, yes.

“I was talking to John Barnes the other day and he was saying exactly the same thing.

“He doesn’t think there’s anything in the two squads.”

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