Michael Carrick has established himself as one of the most effective midfielders in the Barclays Premier League since his arrival at Old Trafford from Tottenham Hotspur in 2006. Understated, and often under-rated, Carrick has become a lynchpin of the United engine room, enjoying arguably his best season to date in 2011/12.
In his debut campaign of 2006/07, he carved out a formidable partnership with Paul Scholes and began to mature into one of English football's most sophisticated and classy passing midfielders. Thereafter, he confounded those who had said he would slip down the
pecking order following Owen Hargreaves' arrival in 2007.
The first of Carrick's title triumphs with United was also the maiden honour of his professional career, although he did win the FA Youth Cup with West Ham in 1999, scoring twice in the 9-0 two-legged final demolition of Coventry City.
West Ham loaned him out to Swindon the following season, and then Birmingham in 2000/01, as he earned a nomination for the PFA Young Player of the Year, eventually won by Liverpool's Steven Gerrard.
Carrick spent much of the 2002/03 season sidelined with injury and