Manchester United midfielder has been dubbed the best central midfielder in English football today, by his former coach Sir Alex Ferguson.
The living Red Devils legend believes that Carrick doesn't get anywhere near the credit he deserves for delivering consistently across eight trophy-laden season at Old Trafford, insisting that his return to fitness has been hugely important for Louis van Gaal's squad.
Carrick's comeback has helped United put together a seven-match unbeaten run and the 33-year-old has received credit for calming things down as an emergency centre-back, but Ferguson has gone as far as to claim he's still the best English player around full stop.
Ferguson still loves Carrick
In a Christmas interview with BT Sport the Scot decided to pick Carrick out for special praise when discussing the current United side, despite a wealth of more headline-grabbing star names in Van Gaal's setup elsewhere.
Ferguson said: "I think Michael's the best central midfielder in English football. I think he's the best English player in the game."
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Time to hold contract talks?
Van Gaal has quickly found room for a fully-fit Carrick in his plans, even promoting the experienced pass master to the role of vice-captain ahead of Darren Fletcher.
United definitely need to prioritise offering Carrick a new contract given his importance and versatility compared to contemporaries in Van Gaal's squad, with the 31-cap England international's current deal expiring at the end of this season.
The Red Devils hold an option to extend Carrick's deal by a further season and it looks extremely likely that Van Gaal will give the green light to invoking that clause, despite possessing more youthful options elsewhere.
Ferguson's endorsement simply serves as a further reminder that Carrick possesses the big-game temperament to match his technical prowess, an attribute United cannot afford to lose at the end of the season if they do sign Kevin Strootman, Arturo Vidal or another top-class midfielder in 2015.