Manchester United vice-captain Michael Carrick isn’t calling it a day just yet. The veteran midfielder has signed a one-year contract extension at Manchester United, keeping him at the club until June 2018, at which point he will have played at United for twelve years.
With a testimonial coming up at Old Trafford this weekend, Carrick has won five Premier League titles, an FA Cup, two League Cups, a Club World Cup, a Champions League, six FA Community Shields and now a Europa League trophy. For a player that has been criticized at times during his time at United for falling short of true top quality, that is an outstanding record.
José Mourinho seems happy to keep the midfielder around:
"I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Michael over this past season. He is one of the true professionals of the game. Not only is he a great footballer, he is also a fantastic human being and a great role model to our younger members of the team. I am delighted he has extended his contract and I would like to take this opportunity to wish Michael all the best for his well-deserved testimonial match next Sunday."
For all his experience and composure though, let’s not kid ourselves over what Carrick has left to offer. His legs are gone, and have been for at least two years. This extension is surely about what he can offer in the dressing room and on the training pitch, rather than in the first team. United is set to lose a great deal of experience and leadership this summer when Wayne Rooney and (possibly) Zlatan Ibrahimović depart. Carrick’s extension at least ensures some continuity, and another senior figure to help acclimate the new recruits.