Henry says he recognised Michael Carrick's quality at Spurs

The Arsenal icon appears to be a big fan of the Manchester United midfielder, first noticing Carrick's ability as he shone on the other side of North London.

Because of his calf injury, Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick was in the Sky Sports studio with Graeme Souness and Thierry Henry, rather than out on the pitch as his team prepared to face Arsenal on Sunday.

But his presence in front of the television cameras offered an opportunity for the midfielder to discuss how things have gone under Louis van Gaal this season, and also the pundits the chance to emphasise just how important they thought the 33-year-old was for the Red Devils.

Former Arsenal star Henry afforded Carrick particularly strong praise as he remembered when he first noticed the midfielder's ability, comparing his influence to United goalkeeper David De Gea, and underlining his value in a team with title aspirations.

"I noticed Michael bossing the midfield when he was at Tottenham," the Frenchman said on Sky Sports. "He is the kind of player you miss when they’re not playing.

"As with a good goalkeeper [like De Gea], these are the kinds of players you need if you’re going to win a title."

For an Arsenal legend to remember the impression he had from seeing a Spurs player 'bossing the midfield' will be a huge compliment to Carrick, who only spent two years at White Hart Lane before moving to Old Trafford in 2006, having started his career at West Ham.

But it was at Tottenham where the England international really underlined his quality, helping the North Londoners to a 5th placed finish in his final season there. 

And it is United who have profited most from his talent, with Carrick playing his part in five Premier League titles, as well as winning the Champions League in 2008.

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