Michael Carrick has signed a one-year contract extension at Manchester United, keeping him at the club until the end of the 2016/17 season.
This news will come as music to the ears of United fans who were concerned about the possibility of the veteran calling time on his 10-year stint at the club.
Carrick’s last contract renewal came in March 2015, highlighting the anxiety surrounding a potential departure this time around.
Speculation mounted that a shock move to Arsenal to boost their squad’s experience was on the cards, with the potential option of joining his boyhood club Newcastle United or the club that gave him his breakthrough, West Ham United, also circulating.
Nonetheless, the midfielder puts pen to paper to remain at Old Trafford, following his 2006 move from Tottenham Hotspur.
Turning 35 in July and entering the twilight of his career, it would have been understandable if regular first team football was on the agenda in Carrick’s decision.
However, this shows the desire that Carrick has to remain a part of the new regime under Jose Mourinho, and a chance to work with one of the world’s best managers.
With Europa League football and potential cup runs surrounding the Premier League schedule, the number 16 knows he won’t feature as regularly as in previous seasons, but this fixture pile-up will still offer him the chance for game time despite his waning years.
An unsung hero who brings invaluable experience to the side, Carrick is the eldest squad member to date, being a key personnel in the dressing room with some promising youngsters progressing into the first team who will learn from him.
The winning mentality will also be essential, with Carrick adding his first FA Cup medal last month to his glittering collection, which consists of five Premier League titles, one league cup, one Champions League and one Club World Cup.
His intelligence to read the game better than most and picking out forward passes to his teammates between the lines are just some of the notable attributes that ‘Carras’ possesses in his armoury.
Making 42 appearances across all competitions last season, his excellent discipline saw him pick up just six yellow cards, where his professionalism on and off the field is there for all to see.
A popular figure amongst his teammates, Carrick was crowned Player’s Player of the Year in 2013, showcasing his popularity, presence and ability within the ranks.
Also first to front up to the media, especially after a bad result, the quiet family man is the second-longest serving player at United, behind Wayne Rooney.
He currently sits 22nd in United’s all-time appearance list with 421, and will quickly add to that next season as he enters his eleventh campaign at the Theatre of Dreams.