Rio Ferdinand: Michael Carrick has set Paul Pogba free

by Sam Peoples

Rio Ferdinand has spoken to Paul Pogba about his time at Manchester United and revealed just how influential Michael Carrick has been.

Carrick started the season as a bit-part player under Jose Mourinho but having just started his third game in a week in Man United’s 2-0 win over West Brom.

Fans have long had a deep appreciation for Carrick and by the looks of it Pogba shares that admiration.

Speaking about Pogba and Carrick in his column for The Sunday Times, Ferdinand said: “There is a long list to which we need to add Paul Pogba’s name, and that is of team-mates who have appreciated Michael Carrick.

“I have spoken to Pogba about it, and Carrick has set him free.

“Pogba had a prickly start to his second United career but now he is looking like his real self and it’s down to several factors.

“One is Mourinho finding his best team and finding the best position for him, but Pogba will be the first to say that the biggest change has been the reintroduction of Carrick.

“Carrick feeds him the ball early, quickly and in areas where he can do damage before teams get set the way they were doing before.

“No disrespect to Marouane Fellaini – Fellaini has other attributes – but his first instinct when he gets on the ball is not to pass it, forward, unlike Carrick.

“I am on the list of Carrick’s fans. I loved playing with him.

“He was the perfect shield for a defence.”

Carrick really has opened up the door for Pogba to shine but credit goes to Ander Herrera as well who has been equally as important. Ander has emerged as one of Mourinho’s most important players because his tireless running opens up even more space which Pogba can exploit.

It’s all about balance and that midfield trio is United’s platform to control and dominate games, none more so than the 2-0 win over West Brom. It was elegant right from the start and Mourinho looks to have found his best midfield set-up for sure.

How are United going to replace Carrick when he leaves? I don’t really want to think about it because like Paul Scholes I’d argue he’s going to be irreplaceable. So, enjoy watching him while you can because unfortunately he won’t be around forever.

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