Former Premier League poacher Michael Owen believes strikers as his own ilk are fast going out of fashion, with Jermain Defoe one of the last of the smaller centre forwards left in England's top tier.

Defoe recently joined Bournemouth after scoring 15 goals for relegated Sunderland during the 2016/17 season and Owen claims clubs now prefer to target large, powerful strikers like Romelu​ Lukaku and Didier Drogba, as opposed to small but pacy forwards like the England international.

England v Jamaica

“I was unique in that I was small and lightening fast,” Owen told ​Goal.  “Abnormally so for someone of my height. Nowadays you don’t get many strikers of my size.

“[Antoine] Griezmann is one exception but normally the teams all play one big striker. You’re not really getting as many small strikers. Jermaine Defoe is one like me but they are a dying breed, the type I was."


Owen, who himself based his game on his ability to run in behind using his speed, believes the popularity for small strikers will return.

He added: “I do think they will come back into fashion eventually. I think that when you go to three at the back, you can get two strikers on the pitch and that might be the next fashionable system.

“We might be getting two strikers again. It is certainly starting to be more three at the back. I just think that the last generation in the last 15 years, we went back to big number nines who could do everything.

“Like Didier Drogba and now Romelu Lukaku types and players like that. That’s what has become fashionable.”