By Andy Hyslop
- Michael Carrick most underrated player of his generation
- Product of the famous West Ham academy
Michael Carrick is entering his tenth season as a Manchester United and has been an integral part of the team since arriving in July 2006.
Carrick, born in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear. Began his career with West Ham United. He is one of number of players that came through the West Ham academy in the mid to late 90’s. Some of his fellow graduates were Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole and Jermain Defoe.
He joined the West Ham youth team in 1997 and was part of West Ham team that won the Fa Youth cup two years later. Carrick had a difficult start to his career, missing almost two years to injury. This was put down to rapid growth spurt.
After graduating to the West Ham first-team, Carrick was sent on two loan spells in his debut season. Joining Swindon for a month, then later that season enjoying another short spell away from Upton Park, this time with Birmingham city.
The following four seasons saw Carrick making thirty plus appearances each season for West Ham before moving across London to Tottenham. Carrick moved to White Hart Lane for £3.5million and after two successful seasons made the move to Old Trafford for an initial fee of £14million. United had to fight to prise Carrick away from Tottenham. Having several offers rejected before the fee was finally agreed.
Carrick Is Classed As A Real Bargain
At the time the fee that United payed for Carrick was viewed as overpriced but I think we can safely say it was a bargain now. After nine seasons in Manchester that has seen Carrick play a major role in numerous successes. To date Carrick has made 379 appearances for Manchester United. He has helped the club win five Premier League titles, one Champions League and a Club World Cup.
I’m in no doubt that Carrick will remain an integral part the United squad for the next few seasons at least, if not longer. He is now 34 years of age. To me he looks like someone that could carry on at the top level for another three or four seasons. Maybe the fact that he missed a lot of football at the beginning of his career will help prolong his career.
Carrick is one the senior members of the Manchester United squad now, with only Wayne Rooney having been at the club longer than Carrick. He is vice-captain at Old Trafford to Rooney. He may have even got the captaincy himself had he not been injured at the start of last season.