It says much for the remarkable recent decline in Michael Owen's standing that his new Manchester United team-mate Rio Ferdinand admitted to having his doubts when the former England centre forward arrived at Old Trafford earlier this month.
'Initially I was suprised,' said Ferdinand.
'I was thinking about it like a fan and weighing it up.'
Nevertheless, only four games in to his new life, Owen would appear to have made some rather accomplished looking steps on to the road to re-establishing his reputation as one his country's
most gifted and natural goalscorers.
Before Sunday's final Asian tour game against Hangzhou Greentown in China, Owen had played 115 minutes for United and scored twice. By the time he was replaced at half-time by Wayne Rooney
on Sunday, he had scored two more as United ambled to an 8-2 victory.
His first two goals were typical Owen goals, too. Decisive and unfussy. On Sunday he added another of that ilk, poking in Nani's low cross to give United the lead in the 24th minute.
Then, just before half-time, he scored an altogether more spectacular goal, taking a Dimitar Berbatov flick on his chest and dispatching a technically-perfect falling volley in to the far corner from 18 yards.