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Michael Carrick, Manchester United Agree New Contract: Latest Details, Reaction

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2016

Manchester United's Michael Carrick celebrates after his team won during the English FA Cup final football match between Crystal Palace and Manchester United at Wembley stadium in London on May 21, 2016. / AFP / Ian Kington / NOT FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING USE / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE        (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)
IAN KINGTON/Getty Images

Manchester United’s veteran midfielder Michael Carrick has agreed a new deal with the club, it was confirmed on Thursday.  

The Red Devils revealed that the playmaker had penned a one-year extension to his stay at United, with his previous terms set to expire in the summer.

Carrick spoke about his decision to remain with Manchester United in the club release:

This great club has been a part of my life for the past 10 years, so I am delighted that this incredible journey is continuing. It’s great to have the opportunity to work under José Mourinho, who has achieved so much during his managerial career. I would like to thank the fans for their unwavering support. Winning the FA Cup was a special moment and, hopefully, we can go on to win more trophies in the future.

Manager Jose Mourinho also commented on the midfielder's return for next season:

Michael is a very intelligent midfielder and a great reader of the game. I am pleased that he will be extending his contract. His form this year shows his ability and his enjoyment of the game are as strong as ever. Michael has a wealth of experience from his many years at the club and that knowledge will be invaluable to me. I am really looking forward to working with him.

The decision to give Carrick another year at Old Trafford is likely to be greeted positively by United fans, as the 34-year-old has been a mainstay in the team’s midfield since signing in 2006.

While the team have let their standards slip lately, the experienced England international has been present for some brilliant triumphs. Indeed, Carrick has won the UEFA Champions League, five Premier League titles and, most recently, the FA Cup in Red Devils colours.

Jonathan Northcroft of the Sunday Times thinks the midfielder, who has just 34 caps for England, has been underused on the international stage:

Jonathan Northcroft @JNorthcroft

If only Michael Carrick had been born 60 miles north. We'd have given him 150 caps.

Perhaps most crucially, the former Tottenham Hotspur man is still a classy operator with the ball at his feet. There are no better passers of the ball in English football than Carrick, and while his dynamism has waned over the years, his positioning in midfield has grown more and more astute.

As these numbers from Squawka Football show, he can still have a big influence at the highest level:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Michael Carrick Premier League season by numbers: 28 games 27 tackles won 86% pass accuracy 10 chances created #AskSquawka @AffyAffyAffy

There are some who will be concerned by the decision. Carrick has struggled with injuries frequently, and given that he's now in the twilight of his career, it's tough to see him playing too much of an active role at the club, especially if Mourinho splashes the cash in the summer.

Mourinho will be delighted to have Carrick for another season.
Mourinho will be delighted to have Carrick for another season.JUSTIN TALLIS/Getty Images

But for the new boss, keeping a player like Carrick on board clearly has its merits. There’s been a lot of upheaval at United lately, and Carrick has been one of the few pillars of stability at Old Trafford. It’s a move that also keeps intact crucial links between previous successful regimes and what could be a bright future for the club.

He’s a winner and a leader, the kind of character United have lost in the past and not replaced. Of course, with men like Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw set to play key parts next year, the young players in this squad are cultivating excitement among the fanbase. But having someone like Carrick around for one more year will benefit everyone at the club.