Manchester United may have blown £150 million bringing the likes of Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao to Old Trafford in the summer, but Louis van Gaal has yet to sign a player that is better than Michael Carrick.
That is the view of former Red Devil and celebrated pundit Gary Neville, who thinks the 33-year-old is the key figure in the Dutchman's line-up. Rather poetically, Neville said watching his former team-mate play for Manchester United is like listening to a piano.
He told Stretty News: “I love Carrick. I have respect for Carrick. You never hear anyone that’s played with Carrick at Manchester United have a bad word to say about him. Ultimate professional, understanding and loves the club by the way.
"Don’t get bought into this ‘Michael Carrick doesn’t show passion’ and all that crap. He loves Manchester United. You see him on a team night out when we won the league and he can be the loudest of the lot. So, the idea that Michael Carrick just comes in as a bit of a mouse that does his job unnoticeably is rubbish.
"If you look at Louis van Gaal at the start of the season and we were struggling, ask yourself who wasn’t playing"
"If you look at Louis van Gaal at the start of the season and we were struggling, ask yourself who wasn’t playing. Michael Carrick wasn’t playing."
Where is the new contract?
Rather worryingly, Van Gaal may not be able to call on Carrick before too long as the midfielder is running out of time on his current contract and could even negotiate with other clubs over leaving Old Trafford on a free transfer.
Carrick is highly unlikely to orchestrate a move away from Manchester United, but there are question marks over whether Van Gaal is ready to renew his £130,000-a-week deal.
Based on these quotes, such a decision would leave Neville speechless. Despite Carrick's age, Neville believes he is still key to Manchester United and enjoys watching him play as much as their attacking players.
"Listening to some good rock is good and you like that too but sometimes it’s nice to listen to a piano"
"Manchester United fans get it. I wanted Bryan Robson and someone to run through brick walls and coming out with bandages wrapped around his head. That’s what Manchester United fans want.
A piano player
"But then when you play with Michael Carrick you think there is authority, control, peace.
'When you are on a football pitch playing against Liverpool or Manchester City, you need peace around you as well.
"You sometimes don’t want people running around like blue-arse flies. Scholes and Carrick together was peaceful. It was like going into a bar and hearing a piano playing. It’s relaxing.
"Listening to some good rock is good and you like that too but sometimes it’s nice to listen to a piano. Carrick’s a piano."