Michael Carrick has admitted that being named vice-captain for Manchester United, having replaced Darren Fletcher in the role, is a great thing for his career.
Speaking to the club’s official website Carrick confirmed that Louis van Gaal had initially approached him to gauge his interest in taking the role behind Wayne Rooney, and admitted that it was a natural progression given that he now ranks as one of the side’s most senior figures.
Despite Van Gaal appointing Rooney and Fletcher as his captain and vice prior to the start of the campaign the Dutchman was forced to rejig when it became apparent that the latter man wasn’t going to feature in a key role this term. Carrick was then announced as his direct replacement, with Fletcher dropping down to third-choice in the event of both his superiors being unavailable.
Carrick on being vice
"I had a chat to the manager about [being named vice-captain] and it's great for me for him to think like that," Carrick said.
"I had a chat to the manager about [being named vice-captain] and it's great for me for him to think like that"
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"It's probably a natural thing with me being one of the older players and more experienced, that's the natural step – it's great.
"I managed to be captain when Wayne missed a game [Stoke in December], which was nice, but it's not the be all and end all of everything. It's achieving things with the team that means more to me, but it's nice to be recognised."
Having struggled for fitness at the start of the season Carrick has made just 10 Premier League appearances this term, though Van Gaal considers him one of the key figures in his setup.
Following the departures of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra the United side the 63-year-old inherited was lacking in experienced heads, and so the likes of Fletcher and Carrick are of vital importance within his system.
That being said recent speculation has inferred that Fletcher’s future at Old Trafford is far from certain, with a number of clubs looking to take advantage of the fact that he’s not playing regularly.
West Ham, West Brom and La Liga outfit Valencia have all been linked with the Scotland international in recent weeks, with Fletcher struggling to hold down a place in Van Gaal’s side.
The 30-year-old has just six months remaining on his current deal with United, having been a mainstay with the first-team since 2003.
If Van Gaal wants to get any money from his sale then he’ll be forced to sell him in this window, unless of course he plans on offering him a new deal, which would certainly come as a surprise to those expecting him to press on firmly with his lucrative overhaul.