Michael Carrick is a stalwart of the English game. He made his name as part of the famed West Ham United academy of the 1990’s, which also produced the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole.
Since then, he has racked up nearly 500 Premier League appearances as a combative midfielder, playing for the Hammers, Tottenham Hotspur, and most famously, Manchester United.
A hugely successful 11 years at Old Trafford, in which Carrick has won five Premier League titles, looks to be coming to an end, as the player finds himself well down the pecking order, with a whole host of clubs hoping to secure his signature in January, and his time this season has already been plagued by injuries.
The Mirror are reporting that West Brom, Leicester and Aston Villa have identified Carrick as the man they want to shore up their midfield. It is understood that, although Carrick isn’t keen to depart Old Trafford, he is growing restless at his lack of playing time. His only appearance of the season so far was against Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup.
West Brom have previous for signing defensive midfielders of Carrick’s ilk, such as Darren Fletcher and Gareth Barry. Albion have acquired the experience of Grzegorz Krychowiak recently too, but he is only a loan signing, so Carrick would be an ideal replacement for him.
Leicester have struggled to recreate the success of their title winning midfield partnership of N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater, and with both having since moved to Chelsea, the Foxes have looked short of quality in that department. However, summer signing Vicente Iborra is slowly growing into the role and Adrien Silva should finally be able to play for the club in January. With Wilfred Ndidi being a regular starter too, it is hard to see when Carrick will get game time at the King Power.
Aston Villa is an interesting proposition. Carrick may not be keen to drop down a division, but he would almost certainly be guaranteed a start in an ever-improving Championship side and he would have the opportunity to link up again with long-time England colleague John Terry.
It was only a few months ago that Sky Sports reported that Carrick was considering retiring at the end of this season. If he decides on a transfer to the Midlands instead, could he write one more glorious chapter in his glittering career?