Manchester United's Michael Carrick has signed a new contract that will see the midfielder stay at Old Trafford until the summer of 2014. The 29 year-old England international joined United from Tottenham Hotspur in 2006 for a 18.6 million pound fee and during his time with the club, Carrick has won a UEFA Champions League, three Barclays Premier League titles, a Carling Cup, and a Club World Cup in 218 appearances.
Here are some quotes provided from the club:
Carrick: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at this great club. There is fantastic team spirit within the squad and I'm pleased to have committed my future to United. We are in a very good position at the moment and I am confident this team will be successful for many years to come"
Sir Alex Ferguson: "I am delighted Michael has signed a new contract. He has been outstanding since joining us from Tottenham Hotspur in 2006, he is a true professional and it's great he has committed his future to the club."
More after the jump...
It has been widely speculated that the England international would be leaving Old Trafford in the summer, however there have been recent rumblings that a deal like this was in the works. In addition, Carrick has been a lightning rod for debate, as many supporters and critics feel as though there has been a decline in his play, or that his performances in the past were overvalued in the first place. Georgina Turner, of Sports Illustrated, wrote an excellent piece last week on Carrick and how's been a target for criticism.
I've generally been a Carrick supporter, but I feel there has been decline in his play, despite his recent solid play in the past week. He hasn't been the same caliber of player to me since the 2009 Champions League final versus FC Barcelona where he had a nightmare. Whether it has been shaky confidence or a weakness spotted in scouting reports, the midfielder has struggled with consistency. While Carrick is still good at pinging the ball around and keeping possession, he often fails to provide the direct pass to unlock a defense. However, with Paul Scholes possibly retiring in the summer, United have signed themselves a deep-lying playmaker to provide depth in the central midfield. Along with Darren Fletcher and Anderson, that's a decent core to build central midfield depth around. Also, Tom Cleverley, who is currently on loan to Wigan Athletic, has shown promise as well. Oh, there's also Darron Gibson I guess. United still need to go out in the summer and seek reinforcements.