Carrick is full of praise and seemingly in awe of the talent that Mata possesses, in an interview with MUTV
Mata proved to be the last signing of the David Moyes era for £37 million in a bid to rebuild the United squad that was enduring a retched season last term.
Unfortunately for the club, his six goals couldn't help them finish any higher than seventh, which ultimately cost Moyes his job at Old Trafford just short of a season in charge.
But he has proved to be a key player this season for United under Louis van Gaal as he plays in advanced role off the strikers. So far this season, the 26-year-old has found the net on five occasions, which has so far helped United on course to qualify for the Champions League after a season's absence.
Carrick told MUTV: “He’s just a little magician, isn’t he? So clever and with so much ability – he’s a pleasure to watch. Playing against him over the years, I knew how good he was and we see it in training every day; some of the things he does really stand out.
“That left foot of his can open up any defence and, despite having such a slight physique, he’s a terrific player.”
With Mata gifted with the ball close to his feet and renowned for his technical ability and the way he reads the game, you'd think his best years are ahead of him.
Given the financial muscle United have, and the players that are likely to be playing around Mata for years to come, there is going to be some real quality that will allow him to showcase those skills even further.