Moyes should have signed Barkley not Fellaini, insists Owen

The former Manchester United striker believes the club's new manager bought the wrong player from his old side last summer and should have plumped for the emerging England starlet

Michael Owen fears David Moyes made a critical error in the summer by raiding his former club for Marouane Fellaini rather than England starlet Ross Barkley.

Fellaini, who prospered under Moyes’ tutelage at Everton, has struggled to make an impression since his switch to Old Trafford and is yet to open his goalscoring account for the club in 17 appearances.

Owen believes the Belgium international, whom the champions paid £27.5 million for on the last day of the summer window, is not a “Manchester United player” and that Barkley, 20, who has been earmarked to make an impression at this summer’s World Cup, would have represented a far shrewder purchase.

6/1 Liverpool are 6/1 with William Hill to win the title this season

“Moyes would have expected an instant return on investment when buying Marouane Fellaini,” Owen told Sportslobster.

“I rate him highly in a certain type of team but I’m not sure he is a Manchester United player.

“Moyes would have been better served by breaking the bank for another of Everton’s players. A team consisting of two of the best youngsters in the Premier League, Adnan Januzaj and Ross Barkley, would have immediately sent out the message that Moyes is building a team to last.

“[But] there is no doubt in my mind that David Moyes will be a huge success at Manchester United for years to come.”

Owen also believes Liverpool, another of his former sides, deserve to be regarded as genuine title contenders.

Inspired by the goalscoring exploits of Luis Suarez, Brendan Rodgers’ charges currently sit just two points behind leaders Arsenal and head into the festive period buoyed by their 5-0 demolition of Spurs at White Hart Lane last weekend.

Owen added: "Liverpool are fully deserving of being labelled title contenders.

"The Reds are firmly back in the big time. The noises I am hearing are that Rodgers has money to spend this coming window and should he unearth another couple of gems, I certainly wouldn’t back against them lifting some silverware come May."