5 players who could replace Michael Carrick at Manchester United
Manchester United have always had a strong passer of the ball in their teams. Looking through the Alex Ferguson era, we had Paul Scholes. There are literally no words that you describe Scholes' ability when on the ball. He could dink, dribble and find a pass. Many of United's current crop of players learning passing from Scholes but for one player – who on his day is just as good in his passing as the historic Englishman before him.
I'm talking of course about United's current pass master, Michael Carrick. The current English pass maestro has been a mainstay at Old Trafford whenever fit for he can, just like Scholes, dictate a game and carve open opposition defences.
Yet, the Englishman – who was dropped by his national team for their recent friendlies – is getting old and his influence on the game is reducing. The club are usually tasked with playing a box-to-box midfielder next to him just to ensure they can help Carrick on defensively and allow him to attack freely for when he has that freedom, he thrives.
Here's looking at five players who could effectively take over Carrick's role at Manchester United
#5 Ilkay Gundogan
Easily one of the best passers on the planet, Ilkay Gundogan is an exceptional player capable of playing across the midfield either as an attacking option or as a deep-lying playmaker. At Borussia Dortmund, he's mainly used as the latter. Alongside a strong and imposing central midfielder, Gundogan can do wonders for any team.
This season, he has an incredible 87.9% pass completion rate with an average of 83.6 passes per game. That's amongst the highest in Europe excluding Barcelona and Arsenal players. The German also has the knack of getting into the box late and scoring vital goals.
At Manchester United, alongside the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger, Gundogan would excel linking up with the likes of Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial.