Michael Carrick will retire as a Manchester United legend. There, I've said it. Ok, he's not in the same category as the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Cristiano Ronaldo and Co., but he's a player that should be admired.
And, at Old Trafford, the now 33-year-old is appreciated. It's incredible really, but Carrick has now been plying his trade at the Theatre of Dreams for nine years. That's not bad going.
Now, of course, Carrick is the club's vice captain, and it's easy to see why. His calm yet influential presence has shone brightly on this Manchester United side for so many years now. He makes the game look easy.
That's clearly why Red Devils chief Louis van Gaal is about to hand him a new one-year deal with the club - with the option for a further year. And why wouldn't the Dutchman want to keep his most seasoned professional?
He may not rack up many goals or even add many assists, but he ticks things in a near perfect way. He's a big game player, too, and is a player that can always be relied upon. When fit, he's probably - and has been for a while now - the first player on the team sheet at Old Trafford.
Success of Scholes and Giggs
He will be 34 by the time the first ball of the 2014/15 season is kicked, but it certainly doesn't matter that he's ageing. Ok, he's in the latter stages of his career, but there's no reason why he can't go out at the very top - just like the duo of Scholes and Giggs.
Scholes and Giggs were not just excellent in their prime, they were also excellent in the final years of their career. Why? Intelligence is certainly one reason; it didn't take them long to realise how to control football matches from different areas of the pitch - they used their legs in different ways. There was no need to roam around the field like a headless chicken.
The other aspect, of course, is ability. As we're all well aware, Scholes and Giggs both had that, but so does Carrick. The former Tottenham man has an extraordinary range of passing - his vision is immense and his positioning is just as good.
It's a perfect decision
It appears, then, that Carrick is set to stay on in Manchester for another two years, and it's certainly the right decision. Ok, we all know that the veteran has endured a couple of injury problems over the last couple of years, but he's still an integral member of the Manchester United squad.
Louis van Gaal knows that and so do the United faithful. Carrick, who earns a reported £130,000-a-week at the club, has played on 13 occasions this term, and United have only lost one of them.
And the news of his imminent return will no doubt excite United fans too. There's no doubt about it, as United go in search of regaining their place in the Champions League, the England international will have a key role to play.
From numerous Premier League winners medals to Champions League glory, Carrick has done it all at Old Trafford, but his excellent stint in Manchester is by no means over just yet.
Carrick will no doubt have a huge role to play as United look to return to the top of England's elite division.
Manchester United fans: Are you pleased that Carrick is set to stay at your club? Have your say in the comments section below!
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