Report - van Gaal plans to use Carrick to solve defensive problems

Michael Carrick 2012

Michael Carrick could play in central defence on his return from injury for Manchester United.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal appears to have a plan for his team’s defence.

That plan comes in the form of Michael Carrick.

The Sun claims that van Gaal plans to use Carrick in the middle of his back four when he returns from the injury he picked up during pre-season training.

“Louis van Gaal has sent an SOS to Michael Carrick in a desperate bid to shore up his defence,” reports the Sun.

“The Manchester United boss hopes the crocked midfielder will be fit in the next two weeks so he can convert to a centre half role.”

There is definite value in playing Carrick in the middle of a defence, which has struggled under pressure at times this season.

The capitulation which happened at Leicester City last weekend may have been prevented had the side had some greater leadership and experience at the back of the team.

Those are two qualities that Carrick can definitely provide on a role that he’s already played at various points in his career.

His interception stats also prove that he reads the game extremely well as he gets into solid defensive positions where he cuts off angles, makes it difficult for the opposition to play and steps in to intercept the ball with ease.

The main worries are that Carrick will be tested physically if van Gaal puts him in the heart of the defence on his return.

His pace is nowhere near how it used to be but Carrick should have enough intelligence to compensate for that by dropping off deeper; look at the way John Terry has stayed effective in the Chelsea back four.

Two weeks would provide Carrick with a chance to come back in for the game away at West Brom before Chelsea visit Old Trafford the following weekend.

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