Manchester United fans always knew how influential Michael Carrick was last season and statistics have now shown just how important he was.
He was also a key cog in United’s possession based style of football last term and often contributed with understated but outstanding performances for Van Gaal’s side.
This was proved towards the end of the season when the 33-year-old sidelined with a calf injury from the beginning of May. What followed was a barren run of United performances against West Bromwich Albion, Arsenal and Hull.
With many United fans still uncertain as to the long-term position of Daley Blind, supporters know that finding a long-term replacement for Carrick is essential this summer.
United will be keen to avoid dependence on one player as we saw with Carrick last season and finding a long-term alternative for the influential Englishman would go a long way towards achieving that.