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From the tenacious era of Roy Keane to the glory days of Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United have often had trouble replacing key performers at the club; none more so than Michael Carrick.
Now in his eleventh year at the club, the former England international was rewarded with the armband- taking over from Wayne Rooney who re-signed with Everton.
From the onset however it was unlikely that the midfielder would register appearances that would suffice the armband.
In fact, taking over the baton of leadership from Rooney was inclined on his influence in the dressing room rather than on the turf- a masterstroke by Jose Mourinho.
He may not have featured in the first two Premier League games of the season, and rightly so, but Michael Carrick’s influence cannot be overlooked.
At 36, the former England international has a lot to offer, more so with United looking to mount a credible challenge on all four fronts.
What is baffling however is the fact that the midfielder has for the longest time been incredibly, culpably underrated for Manchester United as he has been for the Three Lions.
At his peak, United were often left rigid and exposed in his absence, yet still his absence was overlooked due to his quiet, reserved nature.
Won it all
Michael Carrick is one of the standout players in the Premier League who has won every single major trophy at club level.
In fact, the midfielder completed his collection when United won the Europa League and Capital One Cup in the last two seasons; an achievement only matched by former teammate Wayne Rooney.
Players who have never won the Premier League have been lauded as among the best to have graced the game, even so, Carrick is never mentioned.
Hard to replace
A bird in hand is worth two in the bush, which is why the midfielder penned another 12-month contract this summer as Jose sought for a central midfielder.
It was relief for Jose when United secured the services of Nemanja Matic from Chelsea, but the Serbian was ordinarily signed to stabilize United at the middle of the park rather than replace Carrick.
Sir Alex couldn’t find an adequate replacement for Michael Carrick, so hasn’t Jose Mourinho.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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