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By ESPN Staff

Owen speaks out in defence of Shevchenko

Michael Owen believes struggling Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko is suffering from a lack of confidence.

With just three goals in 24 Premiership appearances for the Stamford Bridge outfit, Shevchenko has failed to live up to expectations since moving from AC Milan for around £30million last summer.

But the Ukraine international has been offered sympathy by England counterpart Owen, who endured a similarly disappointing spell at Real Madrid before returning to the Premiership with Newcastle.

The injured striker told Sky Sports magazine: 'No matter how good you are, it doesn't mean you can move to a different league, a different country and hit it off from the word go.

'I'm a big fan of Shevchenko. It's amazing that people are questioning him. He is one of the greats of the modern game.

'I watched him closely in the Community Shield and I was so impressed. It just shows that you can be one of the world's top players and, if you're lacking a bit of confidence, it can affect your game.'