Date: 3rd November 2008 at 3:23pm
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It’s an interesting question and it’s one that James Milner has answered.

Speaking to the Sunday Mercury, Milner is well placed to judge both players, having both played and trained alongside them over the past few seasons.

“There are similarities, I think that they`re both top-class players. Gabby`s improving every minute.

“They were probably more alike a few years ago when Michael was absolutely electric with his pace and he`s obviously had a few injuries and had to adapt his game.

“With Martin O`Neill and the great job he`s done with players here over the years and at other clubs, there`s no better place for Gabby to be and if he keeps putting in performances and scoring goals there`s no reason why he can`t play for England.”

Got to admit I’m not sold on this one. There’s no doubt Gabby is improving but I don’t think he’s clinical enough to be put into Owen’s bracket of goalscoring. The one thing you can rely on Owen to do is score. Doesn’t do much else, but you know the odds are if he gets two chances a match one of them will be going in.

Gabby does a lot more work for the team and isn’t selfish enough for that kind of return. Give Gabby 4-5 chances and he’ll put one away but the work he does for the team means you are just as likely to see him deep or on the wing when the ball goes in the box.

Owen just sits in the box. Everytime he does something different he ends up injured.

This seems to be something Milner agrees with however, he just has more faith in Gabby maturing into a clinical finisher than I do.

“Michael`s a goalscorer, he`s a world class player.

“He shows that by his goal record and every time people start doubting him and when there`s things in the paper saying he`s gone or he`s not as good as he used to be then he bangs in the goals again.

“Look at his goals to games ratio at every single club he`s been at and at international level. He`s a top class player.

“Gabby`s obviously got that electric pace but he`s maybe not an out and out goalscorer, even though he scores a lot of goals.

“Michael might not do anything in a game and then he`ll pop up and score a goal.

“Gabby`s maybe more involved in the build up and laying on things for others.

“They`re both great players and if Gabby can turn into the player that Michael Owen is and score the goals that he has I`m sure Gabby will be very happy.”