Owen Hargreaves has heaped praise onto Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick, saying the Englishman is the closest Mourinho has to Andrea Pirlo.
Carrick has made only three appearances for United this season, starting the 3-1 victory over Northampton in the League Cup and the 4-1 rout of Fenerbahce in the Europa League, while also coming on as a substitute in the 4-1 win against Leicester City at Old Trafford in the Premier League.
He was instrumental in both his starts, putting on terrific performances and displaying his class and experience. More importantly, his presence in midfield has allowed United’s star signing Paul Pogba to flourish.
Mourinho has already experimented with playing Herrera and Fellaini alongside the Frenchman, but with Carrick alongside him, Pogba seems a more influential and assured player.
While at Juventus, the 23-year-old midfielder was partnered with Andrea Pirlo behind him, and Marchisio alongside him in a midfield three – a formula that got the best out of him and made him one of the world’s best box-to-box midfielders.
Hargreaves believes that Mourinho has now found the perfect alternative to Pirlo in Carrick, and believes the 35-year-old should be a regular in the team.
Pogba starred as United beat Fenerbahce 4-1 at Old Trafford, by scoring a brace – a penalty and a screamer from outside the area.
Speaking as a pundit for BT Sport, Hargreaves said:
“The player closest to Pirlo is Carrick that he had at Juventus when he was at his best.
“I think Mourinho is trying to find his best partner, and I think Carrick should play in this team.
“He’s giving these players an audition. Martial needs another game coming back from injury so I think it’s a very strong team and he’s respecting the competition.”