Jamie Carragher believes Sir Alex Ferguson has produced another masterstroke by signing Michael Owen.
The Anfield defender says any suggestion Manchester United are a spent force following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid has been dispelled by the arrival of the one-time Kop idol.
Carragher admits Liverpool's rivalry with United makes it impossible for him to wish his close friend a successful time at Old Trafford.
But he predicts the reds from the opposite end of the East Lancs Road will once again be the team to beat if Liverpool are to end a 20-year wait for the title.
Carragher said: "Signing Michael Owen was a clever piece of business by United and he has started really well for them in pre-season.
"In a way I am pleased he's got a move to a big club because he came in for a lot of criticism at Newcastle.
"Why? What did the lad do wrong up there? "For me, Michael Owen is still a great player and a great role model and I have this feeling he'll be good for United.
"Michael is a good friend of mine, but he plays for our biggest rivals now so he'll know won't want him to carry on scoring once the season starts.
"He's scored a lot of goals in the first few games for United and I hope he scores a few more pre-season because I want him to do well.
"But as soon as the season starts I hope he has a drought!
"That's only right because hopefully we are going to be big rivals again this season."
Carragher added: "I don't expect United to be weaker just because they've lost Ronaldo.