Every so often Manchester United are faced with the unenviable task of replacing players who are somewhat irreplaceable.
It took 6 years to get a keeper anywhere near the standard of Peter Schmeichel, messing about with nobodies and clowns before Edwin Van Der Sarr joined from Fulham. Replacing Ronaldo was a job near impossible, but signing Antonio Valencia probably wasn’t the route most fans would have taken.
It’s not an easy thing to do, so when Roy Keane left Old Trafford acrimoniously in 2005 and Michael Carrick was brought in there were obvious complaints; the silky Carrick wasn’t the man to replace the blood and guts Keane. Keane was intense and dominating and fans wanted a player in the same mould to come in.
Whilst Carrick was nothing like this, fast forward to 2015 and fans are worried about life after the Geordie.
Few expected Carrick to have the impact on the team he has had, a maestro in midfield conducting play as well as providing an important shield for a backline that has proved to be vulnerable at times. Whilst some still don’t see the importance of United’s string puller, the proof is in the pudding. United tend to do a lot better when he is available for selection.
With him in the starting line up United went on a 6 game unbeaten run spanning the last two months, with victories over team likes Tottenham, Liverpool and Man City. Unfortunately he picked up a knock against City and was forced to sit out the game that followed against Chelsea, and it is no coincidence that United’s winning streak screeched to a halt.
But that’s the problem United face, at 33 Carrick is getting no younger. He missed a large chunk of the season with injury and with his 34th birthday this year his (United) career is slowly coming to an end.
A number of names have been mentioned in regards to replacing the ageing star but it appears Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan will likely be the man to step into Carrick’s rather large shoes.
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