Michael Carrick expected to sign new deal at #mufc soon. May well be 2-year contract— jamie jackson (@GuardianJamieJ) November 12, 2013
The midfielder’s current deal will expire at the end of the season, and although club policy dictates only one-year pacts can be offered to players over 30, it’s thought that manager David Moyes will make an exception for the 32-year-old.
Should an agreement be reached, it will have been well-earned by one of the Premier League’s more under-appreciated players.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger even went as far as to claim Carrick should have won the PFA Player of the Year award last spring.
“I would choose Carrick,” the Frenchman told The Guardian at the time. “He is a quality passer. He could play for Barcelona, he would be perfectly suited to their game.”
Wenger got a firsthand look at the England international on Sunday when the Gunners fell 1-0 to the reigning champions at Old Trafford.
Carrick, as might have been expected, put in a master class over the 90 minutes, completing 84 per cent of his passes while making a key interception in the 17th minute and continually closing down space in the centre of the park.
It was the sort of display—workmanlike, intelligent and quietly effective—that United have become accustomed to since his arrival from Tottenham Hotspur in 2006.
Given that he has hardly shown signs of losing the form that has already helped the club to five Premier League titles and a Champions League crown, it follows that he is in every way deserving of a new deal.
“I’d love to carry on playing as long as possible at this club,” he told Sky Sports just over a month ago. “It’s a fantastic club. I’ve had great times here.”
If his contributions so far this season are any indication, those great times may last a bit longer yet.
In the 10 league appearances Carrick has made, he has completed 86 per cent of his passes, won more than two-thirds of the tackles, take-ons and headed duels he’s thrown himself into and, perhaps most importantly, averaged an astonishing seven defensive actions per match—nearly 60 per cent of them interceptions.
The tactical nous that comes so naturally to him could also end up aiding in the development of Phil Jones as a central midfielder.
The 21-year-old earned rave reviews for his bullish performance against Arsenal, and while he was certainly deserving of the accolades, Carrick's smarts are what made them possible.
Still can't sleep.... Needed that win today. For a bad start we're not in bad shape.....— Michael Carrick (@carras16) November 11, 2013
United, meanwhile, look to have overcome a disastrous start to the campaign. Carrick, for one, foresees a better season from here on out.
“After a shocking start we are not in a bad position,” he told Sky Sports on Tuesday. “We never really got too despondent. We were frustrated with our performances and results but you have to stay patient and trust yourself.”