Louis van Gaal: Michael Carrick will have to play with U21s before first-team return

by Sam Peoples

Michael Carrick will once again have to spend some time playing for Manchester United’s U21s before he can make his return to the first-team.

Previously, Carrick played with Man United’s U21s during his rehabilitation from ankle surgery earlier this season and the 33-year-old will have to do the same thing again to help him recover match rhythm.

“He has to do it in the second team,” van Gaal said when asked about Victor Valdes getting first-team opportunities.

“Like Ashley Young is doing that, like Michael Carrick has to do that. It is always the same. I think it is normal.”

Carrick was working his way back towards full fitness when van Gaal revealed he suffered a setback which was bad news for United given Daley Blind‘s current fitness situation.

Van Gaal has no qualms using any player in the U21s no matter how old they are or big the name is.

The likes of Valdes, Carrick, Young and Rafael have all featured for Warren Joyce’s side this season and in that sense it is good to see van Gaal getting the most out of the U21s in terms of helping first-team players return to fitness quicker.

Rooney became a makeshift defensive midfielder against Burnley but is simply not suited to that role so from United’s perspective, getting Carrick back sooner rather than later is important because only he and Blind can play in the deeper lying midfield role to good effect.

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