On July 31st, 2006 Michael Carrick came to Manchester United from Tottenham Hotspur for a price of £18.6 million aged just 25. This made him the sixth most expensive signing at that time. He was brought by Sir Alex Ferguson as a replacement for the departed Roy Keane. He was brought by Sir Alex Ferguson as a replacement for the departed Roy Keane. He was given the number 16 shirt which he still wears to this day.
Carrick made his debut against Portuguese club FC Porto in a pre-season tournament in which Manchester United won 3-1. However later in the tournament he got a foot injury leaving him out of the start of the season. He made his competitive debut at Valley Parade against Charlton Athletic in a 3-0 win. He didn’t score a goal for Manchester United until the start of 2007 against Aston Villa when Manchester United won 3-1. He finished his first Manchester United season with a Premier League trophy, the first of many. At the start of the next season, he suffered his worst injury yet with an elbow injury which kept him out for six weeks His first goal of the season came against Manchester City in February of 2008. After another successful season which saw him win the Premier League again and the Champions League in Moscow. He was offered a five-year contract extension however he decided to only sign for four years instead.
The start of the 2008-09 season was riddled with injuries for Michael Carrick as in the opening day of the season he received an ankle injury which kept him out for three weeks. On the game he came back he received another injury after a challenge with Liverpool midfielder Yossi Benayoun which resulted in a broken leg and six weeks out of action. Carrick helped Manchester United to a third Premier league title in a row after goals against Hull City, Stoke City, Portsmouth, and Wigan. Carrick played his second Champions League final in two years in a 2-0 loss to Barcelona which he later called ‘The Worst Night of His Career’. In the next season, he was forced to play at center back as Gary Neville sustained an injury and there was nobody else to play that position. On February 2010 he was awarded his first ever red card in a Champions League game against Italian side AC Milan. That season he won his first ever League Cup medal in a 2-1 win over Aston Villa. This was also the first season he didn’t win the Premier League after Chelsea won with just one point.
In March 2011 he signed another contract extension that kept him at the club until 2014. In January 2011 he played his 250th game for the Red Devils in a 3-2 away win against Manchester rivals Manchester City Another defensive crisis hit at the start of the 2012-13 season which meant he was forced to play at center back once again. However, in November he was left out of the team that would start against Queens Park Rangers which ended his run of 33 starts in a row. At the end of the season, he was nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award and was a favourite among many players and managers including Arsene Wenger who claimed he could play for Barcelona. He lost to Gareth Bale but was ultimately named in the PFA Team of the Year and also won Manchester United’s Players’ Player of the Year award.
He signed yet another contract extension in November of the same year keeping him here until 2015. He wasn’t playing as well as he previously did in a struggling Manchester United team under new manager David Moyes. He was also struggling with a persistent Achilles injury that kept him out for a month. After a poor season, he was criticised by former captain Roy Keane and questions arose about whether he had a future in a Manchester United shirt.
In the pre-season of the start of the 2014-15 season, he sustained yet another injury which kept him out for 12 weeks. He made his debut in a 1-0 loss to Manchester City which he came on as a centre-back after Chris Smalling received a red card. Former German international Dietmar Hamann claimed Manchester United’s good form was because of Michael Carrick and Sir Alex Ferguson named him as the best England player in 2014. In the same season, he was named as Manchester United’s vice-captain. In the next year, he again signed another contract for one more year bringing him up to 10 seasons as a Red Devil.
After 421 games and 23 goals, so far, Michael Carrick will go down as an all-time great Manchester United player may we hope him to have a more successful career as a Red Devil.
Written by Nick Gilliver