Michael Carrick has agreed a 12-month extension on his £80,000-a-week week contract with Manchester United, the club have confirmed.
The 33-year-old has had a frustrating season, with injury restricting him to just 13 Premier League starts. Regardless, he has done more than enough to convince Louis van Gaal of his worth.
Van Gaal made Carrick his vice captain behind Wayne Rooney after arriving in the summer and has been repaid with a number of assured performances across the pitch. Carrick has played at both centre-back and midfield for the Red Devils this season and impressed in equal measure in both roles.
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"He is, for me, my second captain behind Wayne Rooney and he can also read the game as a team player so that’s very important"
A very important player
Breaking the news on Manchester United's official television channel, Van Gaal praised Carrick's ability on the pitch and his continued influence on the squad off the field.
"He is, for me, my second captain behind Wayne Rooney and he can also read the game as a team player so that’s very important," the Dutchman explained. "He has also an excellent pass forward. I like, as a manager, forward passers so that’s very important for me."
Future in doubt
With his contract expiring in the summer there was some doubt as to whether Carrick would be offered a new contract. Van Gaal is planning on a summer transfer splurge and the former England international was becoming increasingly injury-prone.
Kevin Strootman has regularly been cited as a key target and plays a very similar role to that of Carrick, hinting at a potential exit. But now that doubt has been laid to rest.
A quiet legend
The new contract will see Carrick reach ten years as a Manchester United player. He joined from Tottenham in 2006 for £18 million and has gone on to play 376 times for the Red Devils.
Winning five Premier League titles and a Champions League, Carrick will retire as one of Manchester United's most successful players. A continued influence on the team, the quiet influence of Carrick will be surely missed when he finally hangs up his boots.
Has Louis van Gaal made the right decision by giving Michael Carrick a new contract or should he have release him to make way for someone younger, fitter and possibly better? Give us your thoughts in the comments box below!