Is van Gaal about to make his first mistake at Manchester United?

Michael Carrick 2012

Michael Carrick is one of three players waiting to hear if he has a future at Manchester United.

Michael Carrick is one of three players reportedly waiting to hear whether they’ll have a future under new Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal.

Carrick was one of United’s most consistent midfielders last season and while he may not be first choice in the United midfield next season, there is still merit in keeping him at the club.

The main problem with Carrick’s play last season was that he was quite slow moving the ball forward. However, that doesn’t detract from the fact he still has some great defensive qualities which make him a good player for LvG to have around the side.

Only two players made more interceptions than Carrick last season, as he showcased one of his best qualities as a midfielder.

  ClubPosInterception WonAppsMins
Mile Jedinak Crystal Palace MF 139 38 3,389
Youssuf Mulumbu West Brom MF 115 37 3,079
Michael Carrick Man Utd MF 80 29 2,413
Steve Sidwell Fulham MF 79 38 3,233
Tom Huddlestone Hull MF 74 36 3,144

He makes it very difficult to for the opposition to move the ball through their own midfield quickly, cutting off the angles and reducing the space that opponents have to play.

He also made more tackles than any other Manchester United midfielder last season, attempting to provide that grit in the middle of the team during a very difficult season for the club.

  ClubPosTotal TackleAppsMins
Michael Carrick Man Utd MF 61 29 2,413
Antonio Valencia Man Utd MF 49 29 1,940
Tom Cleverley Man Utd MF 48 22 1,579
Marouane Fellaini Man Utd MF 44 16 1,106
Adnan Januzaj Man Utd MF 24 27 1,640

There’s no doubt that United’s midfield needs a face lift and reported deals for Ander Herrera of Athletic Bilbao and Kevin Strootman of AS Roma would definitely help that to happen.

There’s also a good chance that United could still sign one of the many Bayern Munich stars they have been linked with, which will put them in a good position ahead of the new season.

Carrick still has a role to play and it would be a mistake if he chooses to move the experienced midfielder on rather than using him at times next season, when the stats show how effective he can be.

The other two players in the trio waiting for news over their futures are Tom Cleverley and Darren Fletcher, two players who should arguably face the chop long before Carrick is shown the exit door.

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