Darren Fletcher was chosen as the deputy to new captain Wayne Rooney at the start of the season but after a difficult start to the campaign, the Scot has rarely featured.
Fletcher started his first game since the early weeks of the season against Aston Villa on Saturday but a poor display saw the midfielder dragged off at the break.
With his contract expiring in the summer, it’s unlikely the 30-year-old will be offered a new contract and van Gaal confirmed on Friday that Carrick is now the new vice captain.
“I have three captains,” said Van Gaal. “You have a sequence: Wayne Rooney is one, Carrick is two, Fletcher three.
“He brings a lot of experience but also a lot of composure, he can transfer my philosophy on to the pitch,” added the Dutchman.
Today was the first time United haven’t won with Carrick starting and it’s clear his importance to the team is as big as it ever was.