If it was not for Patrick Vieira, Michael Carrick’s Arsenal career would be dwindling to an end right now.
Back in 2004, Vieira was flirting with Real Madrid. In fact, he was more than flirting, he was having a dirty affair, and on the verge of leaving Arsenal for them. Arsenal and Arsene Wenger expected him to leave. And lined up was West Ham central midfielder Michael Carrick.
The deal was done for just a few million. Everything all but signed. The 23 year old midfielder was set to herald in a new era of Arsenal . Less about the pace and power of Patrick Vieira, more about incisive passing. A team built around a young talented Englishman.
At the last minute, Patrick Vieira decided the grass was not greener, and the Real Madrid deal fell through. With Gilberto Silva and Edu at the club, a decision was made, there was no space for Michael Carrick with Vieira staying. Especially as the signing would have killed the development of a young Spaniard who had recently been signed from Barcelona. Francesc Fabregas.
The Carrick deal did not happen, and a few weeks later, he joined Spurs, and later, Manchester United, where he won it all.
With his contract coming to an end, he has been linked with Arsenal once more on a free transfer. After a hot debate with a few people, I decided to come up with “why” and “why not” Arsenal should go for Michael Carrick
Michael Carrick comes with a wealth of experience. He has been there, done it, got the t-shirt. With Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta & Mathieu Flamini set to leave this summer, Arsenal are set to lose a lot of experience.
We could replace all of those players with one signing, Michael Carrick.
If Arsenal are investing their future in Francis Coquelin as first choice defensive midfielder, and Mohammad Elneny as 2nd choice, we look a little light beyond that.
Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere & Calum Chambers can all do a job, but Michael Carrick can do a better job.
He would be ideal to back up, and provide experience, to the two defensive midfielders we are likely to keep.
We need to be looking at bigger, at better. We need to look at the first 11 and think “right, where can we improve”, and go out and buy better players than what we currently have.
In defensive midfield, we need to go out and buy someone better than Francis Coquelin. That then makes Coquelin 2nd choice, and Elneny 3rd choice.
Michael Carrick is not better than Coquelin.
And at 35 (which he will be in the summer) and his recent injury record, he would not be someone to rely on.
Carrick would be a cheap option, like when we signed Mikel Silvestre from Manchester United.
If we are looking for someone to add experience to the squad, then why not stick with what we have. Offer Flamini a new year long deal, and let him do the job which he currently do’s, provide back up for Coquelin and Elneny.
If you do not rate either of these as first choice defensive midfielder, we need to buy better.
Quality, not quantity.
Have your say…