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Saturday 10 December 2016

Carrick: This season may be last at United

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick
Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick

Michael Carrick admits this could be his last season playing for Manchester United.

Carrick has started only once in the Premier League this term, with Jose Mourinho so far preferring Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba at the base of his midfield.

It means Carrick, who turned 35 in July, has been used primarily in cup competitions - twice in the EFL Cup and once in the Europa League - although he did start United's last league game against Swansea nine days ago.

His typically composed display may see him retained for Saturday's clash at home to Arsenal, but Carrick concedes that at this stage of his career, he may have to accept his future lies elsewhere.

"There's always a chance of that isn't there?" said Carrick.

"It is such a great club with great players, you can't take it for granted and thankfully I'm here this season and playing my part.

"Hopefully I can play more of a part in the months ahead, strive for success and try to get some sort of silverware, because winning trophies is why we are here."

Realistic

Carrick has made almost 300 league appearances for United since joining the club from Tottenham 10 years ago. In that time, he has won five Premier League titles, an FA Cup and the Champions League.

But when asked if he would like to remain at Old Trafford beyond the current campaign, Carrick said: "Yeah, but I'm 35 now and I have to be realistic.

"I'm not going to make predictions about what is going to be happening next season.

"We are not even at Christmas yet and I just want to play as many games as I can and see how I'm feeling, how the body is feeling.

"That is the biggest gauge to see if I can still do it, if I feel I can still do it and the manager feels that.

"There is a lot of things to come into the equation, so I'm not going to be making any rash judgements just yet."

One of the players blocking Carrick's route into the side has been Pogba, United's world record summer signing, who has endured an inconsistent start to life in England.

The Frenchman, however, underlined his talent with a stunning goal against Swansea last time out.

And Carrick is in no doubt about the 23-year-old's credentials.

"The attributes he has are incredible. We all saw the game against Swansea, and physically he is pretty much perfect - such a specimen," Carrick said.

"He can cover ground but the ability he has got is something very special.

"At the same time, it is not an easy thing to come into and hit the ground running, be at top form. Changing leagues, changing countries, there are all sorts of things that come into it.

"But he is going to be such a good player - he is such a top player now, and I'm sure he is only going to improve.

"He is well aware of the situation, but he goes and produces a performance like he did against Swansea and I'm sure there are more of them to come."

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