Michael Carrick has had a phenomenal run with Manchester United, being part of the squad that won the Champions League back in 2008 as well as 5 Premier League titles. Alongside Wayne Rooney, he has secured every single domestic honor in the English game as well.
However, his days at Old Trafford might come to an end soon, with it widely being believed that this would be the last season for the 36-year-old. Moreover, reports in Daily Star indicate that United have already commenced their hunt for the veteran midfielder’s replacement.
The Red Devils had reportedly sent two scouts to monitor the Champions League encounter between Roma and Atletico Madrid earlier this week. Their targets played for both sides, with Madrid’s Saúl Ñíguez and Roma’s Radja Nainggolan reportedly being the players on their radar.
Both of them would be ideal replacements for Carrick, being crucial parts in their respective team’s midfields. Arguably, 22-year-old Saúl would be a more apt signing for the English giants owing to his age, rather than Radja, who is 29.
However, the latter is more of the central defensive midfielder – the role in which Carrick has been deployed for the better part of his career. It is highly unlikely that either of them would be capable of being used as an occasional defender, as Carrick regularly was under David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal. Sir Alex Ferguson too, made use of him in that spot.
Mourinho, on the other hand, despite naming the Englishman as the Mancunian outfit’s captain, has used him sparsely so far this season. This is largely due to the arrival and further phenomenal displays of Nemanja Matic as a holding midfielder.
Regardless, supporters will be eager to see what develops of these two targets, and whether they’ll be able to hold a candle to the midfield maestro and link up with the rest of the players.
Written by Naveen Kelvin
A writer trying to craft the poetry within football. Purpose in life is to Make Good Art.