The 33-year-old will be missing his third consecutive game on Saturday and Manchester United have badly missed his presence in midfield.
Daley Blind‘s injury has exacerbated his absence because United have been left without a natural holding midfielder and when asked if Carrick will play again this season, van Gaal brushed upon just why he is so important to the team: “Yes, I had expected that he could play this weekend, but it is a matter of time.
“When you see in our team, he is a holding midfielder and we don’t have so much [of them]. When [Daley] Blind and Carrick have been injured, we have had a big problem.
“He is a player who can read the game and that is what I am looking for, players who can read the game, not only individually but also for the team, because the team is more important.
“All the players can read the game individually, their own role, that is not so difficult. But to see it for the team is more difficult, not so many players can read the game for the team. That is why they need coaches.”
It’s not the first time van Gaal has referred to Carrick as one of his coaches on the pitch and United have certainly missed his leadership and intelligence in the last two fixtures.
Although he is edging towards his 34th, Carrick’s influence on the team is only getting stronger but if United are to compete on multiple front next season for trophies, reinforcements in that position are absolutely crucial.