Luke Shaw

Shaw: Carrick could still play in the Premier League

Luke Shaw believes Manchester United coach Michael Carrick is still good enough to play in the Premier League, two years after his retirement.

While answering fan questions as part of his weekly lockdown diary, our left-back also agreed with the recent vote that named the 2008 Champions League-winning midfielder as United’s most underrated player.

“I’ve got a little feeling that David Beckham is maybe a little bit underrated, but the one that stands out for me is Michael Carrick,” wrote Shaw, when asked to name the Reds’ unsung hero of the last 30 years.

“I think not just for United – he was massively underrated for England as well. When I first joined United, he was getting a bit older but he still had so much quality. He’s still got it now, to be fair.

“I genuinely think he could still play in the Premier League, based on what we sometimes see from him in training.

“I don’t think he got the recognition he deserved and when people do look back at important players for United, you look at all the trophies he won, and he was a key member of the team in that era.”

While Carrick was a mainstay in the Reds’ midfield for over a decade, he won just 34 caps for England between 2001 and 2015, featuring just once in a major tournament – the 2006 World Cup.

And Shaw believes that, given his obvious qualities and status, successive Three Lions managers should have given the 38-year-old more opportunities, despite the fierce competition for places in that area of the field at the time.

“He was so underused by England. He’s not just one that would sit in front of the back four and clean things up – for me he was one of the best midfield passers I’ve ever seen, honestly.

“The way he could play the ball through the lines or in behind, he wasn’t afraid to try things. He was one of the best of his time in his position and if people have a proper think about it, they’ll see that he was competing with amazing, world-class players like [Frank] Lampard and [Steven] Gerrard at the time.

“I think Carras deserves to be in that bracket too, and I’m not just saying this because he’s my coach now!”

Michael Carrick tussles for the ball with Antonio Valencia
Carrick's only appearance at a major tournament came against Antonio Valencia's Ecuador at the 2006 World Cup.

Despite Shaw’s obvious respect for his coach and the role he played in one of United’s best sides, he selected a different vintage when asked to choose which of United’s three European Cup sides he’d like to play in most.

“I’d have to go for 1999 because the Treble year was so special. I would want to be involved in that squad because they had so much quality, but also because it was such a massive achievement.

“Not many squads have been able to make history like those boys, so what a team to be a part of. To win that many big trophies in the same season shows you how good they were.

“When you look at the personnel, you had Roy Keane as captain setting very high standards. He abided by those standards himself and he wanted every player to abide by them too.

“A captain has to set that kind of example and he tried to push the standards as high as he possibly could, and look what they ended up winning!”

Got a burning question for United’s no.23? Set it on Twitter with the hashtag #AskLuke and he’ll answer a selection of the very best posers.

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