After spending £150 million and smashing the world transfer record, you wouldn’t think that Manchester United would consider a 35-year-old to be one of their most important players.
But that’s exactly the case at Old Trafford this season.
United may be 11 points off the pace in the Premier League but, with Michael Carrick in their side, they have shown title winning form.
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In the eight matches in which Carrick has played this season, they have won seven and drawn one. Incredible.
However, United boss Jose Mourinho has seemed reluctant to select him on a regular basis with Carrick failing to get a consistent run in the starting XI.
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What’s just as remarkable is that the midfielder looks set to leave the club.
According to The Sun, the club are yet to offer him a new deal with his contract expiring at the end of the season. They also report that there are no talks in the pipeline to extend his deal, meaning he is free to sign a pre-contract with other European clubs in January.
Despite being at the end of his career, Carrick has been instrumental for Jose Mourinho’s side whenever he has been involved.
In fact, he’s been so important that club legends haven’t hesitated in highlighting his importance.
Earlier this month, Paul Scholes questioned Mourinho for not selecting him in the Europa League against Fenerbahce and suggested he’s transformed the side with his displays.
Scholes on Carrick
"Michael Carrick’s a prime example, is he injured, is he [Mourinho] saving him for Sunday?" Scholes told BT Sport after United lost 2-1 to the Turkish side.
"He’s played in the cup games, and whenever he’s played they’ve looked a different team, I think they’ve won most of their games with him in the team.
"It’s helped Pogba, a bit of experience next to him."
Ferdinand on Carrick
Rio Ferdinand also had his say on Mourinho’s decision to constantly leave Carrick out of the side by tweeting: "The last couple of managers havent fancied Carrick...i really dont get it at all...his game never relied on pace either. Best passer at club.”
Previously, Mourinho has sung the praises of Carrick but acknowledged his advancing years.
“Michael is 35 years old and it is very sad to know that time flies for every one of us,” he said.
"He is such a fantastic player and I’ve always loved him. It is just a pity instead of being his manager when he was 25, I am his manager when he is 35."
Fans and former players alike certainly won't be impressed if Mourinho allows one of the club's most important players to leave on a free transfer. But time is running out both on Carrick's career and his current deal.