The Bulgarian striker twice cleared off the line early in the 3-0 Carling Cup win at Leeds United before moving to central defence when youngster Ezekiel Fryers came off with cramp late in the match.
Owen, who scored twice in the win, said Berbatov sometimes plays a similar role in training and was not surprised to see him do well when required down back.
"Berba can play there," said Owen.
"He does it occasionally in training. It was no surprise when he put his hand up and said he would do it."