Manchester United's Michael Owen will prove a valuable asset, says Nemanja Vidic

Owen, who impressed as a second-half substitute in United's 1-0 Champions League victor against Besiktas in Istanbul on Tuesday, has been told by manager Sir Alex Ferguson that he must wait patiently for the chance to play regular first-team football following his free transfer arrival from Newcastle in July.

Ferguson is keen to forge a partnership between Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov, leaving Owen as the odd-man out at Old Trafford.

The 29-year-old has scored just one competitive goal so far for United, a record which is placed in perspective with Owen having started just one game this season. But despite his slow start to life at United, Serbian defender Vidic insists that his close-hand experience of Owen in training has convinced him that the former Liverpool forward is approaching his best form.

Vidic said: "As a defender, I can say with some certainty that it is really tough to mark Michael Owen. He's dangerous from all positions, so you always need to be focused and on your toes.

"I'm sure our fans will soon realise that as well and see the best of him. I am pleased to be on his team.

"Michael has proven his quality through the years so I don't see any reason why he shouldn't be successful. He can help us a lot, so we are all very happy to have him in our team. He is an important signing for the club.

"Manchester United has always had fantastic forwards and certainly we have such a situation in the current team as well. No matter who plays, I'm sure we will be lethal in front of goal."

Ecuadorean winger Antonio Valencia, a £17m summer signing from Wigan, earned praise from Ferguson following his Champions League debut for United in Istanbul.

And Vidic is backing Valencia to be a success in his own right, despite the pressure of having to fill the right-side role vacated by Cristiano Ronaldo.

Vidic said: "Players like Valencia and Owen will make our team better this season. They are very good players who will help us improve. No one at Old Trafford expects Luis to take on Ronaldo's role in the team but he has many qualities of his own.

"I believe he will become an important member of our team over the coming season."

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