Manchester: Former Manchester United striker Michael Owen believes that Wayne Rooney can rediscover his best form if new Old Trafford boss David Moyes makes him feel wanted.
The 27-year-old has been linked with a move away from the Red Devils ever since Sir Alex Ferguson revealed that he had asked to leave the club in May.
But Owen, who played alongside Rooney for both United and England, is confident that the ex-Everton forward will remain at the club as long as Moyes makes him feel loved again, though his preparations for the new season were hit on Thursday by his withdrawal from the club`s pre-season tour of Asia after suffering a hamstring injury in training.
"I think the one thing with Wayne is Robin van Persie coming in last year and being the focal point, being the main centre forward in Sir Alex`s eyes, and the game against Real Madrid when he left Wayne out," Owen stated.
"That will have hurt, that hurts your pride - especially when you`re Wayne Rooney, someone that`s been top dog for virtually every team he`s played for.
"So I think it’s important for Wayne to feel wanted again, to feel loved again, to feel as if he`s the top man again and, if David Moyes can make him feel like that and the fans are on his side, then I`m sure he can get back to banging the goals in next season."
Moyes officially began his United reign at the start of July and, while Owen acknowledges that the Scot will be looking to put his own stamp on the team, he is convinced that the new boss will be an excellent addition in keeping with the traditions of the club.
"David Moyes has had a great career so far; he`s done wonders at Everton and you`d think he`s got all the attributes to take over at Manchester United," the 33-year-old continued.
"I think everyone would agree it`s a great appointment. It`s just in keeping with what Manchester United are about really but that`s not to say that everything will continue. He`s brought in a new backroom staff, brought in a couple of ex... I was going to say ex, but Giggsy`s still a player! And current players, so there`s still that feel for the club within the management team.
"But he`s brought in his own staff as well and, inevitably, the coaching will be slightly different, the team he picks will be slightly different, so there will be some slight differences.
"Everybody is going to be waiting with eagle eyes looking at what`s going to happen and whether they can continue the dominance they`ve had for the last 25 years under Sir Alex."
Owen, who came through the youth ranks at Liverpool and went on to make almost 300 appearances for the Anfield outfit, backs the Reds to capitalise on managerial changes at the top of the table and challenge for the top four with the right signings.
"I break it down, the top five or six teams you look at Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea all with new managers," observed Owen.