Michael Carrick was stretchered off the field while representing England, following an injury to his ankle during the Three Lions’ friendly loss to Spain.
The midfielder had started the game but was unable to complete it, after Chelsea midfielder Pedro caught the 34-year-old with a late challenge. Carrick was visibly distraught as he left the field, as he is now expected to be out of action for some time. He had just made his way back into the Manchester United starting XI but will now be forced to work on his fitness before making a claim for a place in the side.
Instead, the Reds will have to rely heavily on Bastian Schweinsteiger. The German has been a stalwart in the Man United team since his arrival from Bayern Munich this summer and, with Carrick unavailable, he could see his involvement increase even further.
At 31, Schweinsteiger certainly has a few good years ahead of him but there are still doubts over his fitness. The World Cup winner played 90 minutes for his country against France as the build up to next summer’s European Championships continues. United fans will be encouraged to see Schweinsteiger’s match fitness seems up to scratch as they prepare for a crucial part of the season.
With the busy Christmas schedule fast approaching, United’s squad depth will surely be tested, especially with Carrick out injured. Schweinsteiger will be the key man to make sure the Reds can hold onto the ball and he will need to be the key man in helping set the team forward, something Carrick is normally extremely proficient at.
Schweinsteiger’s experience and undoubted ability have made him a hugely important player since he came to Old Trafford and he is about to see his stock rise further. United’s success over the next couple of months could be down to the midfielder’s performances and there is no question that he can set the team up nicely for a title run-in at the end of the season.