Hangzhou: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said new signing Michael Owen could score 15 goals in the new season as the coach plots a record fourth consecutive Premier League crown.
Ferguson has handed Owen the legendary number seven shirt, worn by greats such as Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Ronaldo, and believes the England international can pose a major goal threat.
Ferguson, speaking after the arrival of the Red Devils for the final match of their Asian tour, said the former Newcastle United player had a great goalscoring pedigree and even continued to find the net in the past two years when his Newcastle side struggled.
"I hope he gets plenty," said Ferguson, when asked how many goals Owen would score for his new side.
"If he plays 25 games for me next season I think he`ll get 15 goals," he added.
Owen, who joined the Premier League champions on a free transfer earlier this month, has enjoyed a good start to his United career, bagging a goal in both of the Red Devils` games in Malaysia.
But even with the departure this summer of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez, competition up front remains fierce, with Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and teenaged Federico Macheda vying for starting spots.
Ferguson said he had been rotating the four strikers during the Asian tour in a bid to test his options, particularly with the arrival of Owen and the emergence of Macheda.
"We have to find out and understand the best possible combinations for those four players," he said.
United wrap up their Asian tour with a match against Hangzhou Greentown on Sunday looking for a clean sweep after two wins in Malaysia and one in South Korea.