Has Michael Owen admitted he was wrong over Ozil-Sterling claims?

Raheem Sterling

Owen claimed Liverpool's Raheem Sterling was a better player already than Arsenal's Mesut Ozil, but appears to have backtracked a little.

England international winger Raheem Sterling's poor form has seen perceptions of his ability change, and the hype subside.

The Liverpool star is refusing to sign a new contract extension at the club, and the off-field saga has had a negative effect on the pitch.

Former Reds striker Michael Owen made a bold statement over Sterling in the season, declaring him already a better player than German World Cup winner Mesut Ozil.

He was quoted by The Mirror stating that he 'definitely' regards the 20-year-old as superior to Ozil, and did not back down in the face of criticism.

His stance may have suddenly changed. Last night he backtracked somewhat over his belief in Sterling's ability, telling The Guardian the prospect is 'replaceable'.

He said: "He’s a very good player with lots of potential, but you can replace him. If I was a Liverpool fan, I’d obviously be wanting an answer,but I wouldn’t be losing sleep if he did leave and you got a fair old chunk of money for him.”

It's quite a change in tact regarding a player he was talking up just a matter of months ago.

Owen has been a regular critic of Ozil since the German came to the Premier League, but while he may say he isn't prepared to lose sleep if Sterling left Liverpool, many Arsenal fans would be perturbed if their playmaker was to refuse to commit his future to the club and sold elsewhere.

The German has really kicked on over the second half of the season, and suddenly looks like an integral part of the Arsenal side. It is hard to imagine many Liverpool supporters turning down the chance to sign him if he became available.

Former England forward Owen has dug his heels in over his Ozil-Sterling comments so far, but his suggestions the Liverpool attacker is not crucial to the club's development, are as close to a concession he was incorrect so far. 

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