The Englishman has featured four times this season under Jose Mourinho, playing a key role in wins over Leicester City, Northampton Town, Fenerbahce and Manchester City.
His most recent performance, against Pep Guardiola’s side on Wednesday, was a masterclass in how to control a midfield battle.
Speaking in a press conference, Mourinho was quick to laud Carrick for his recent performances.
"He is phenomenal."
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 28, 2016
There is something wonderfully poetic – and also somewhat tragic – about how United invest millions in new midfield reinforcements every year, only to revert back to using Carrick instead.
And yet, such a notion encapsulates exactly why Carrick is so fundamental to this United side. Over the years, especially in the post-Fergie era, United fans have rarely witnessed a settled side, with form and injuries precipitating a seemingly never-ending episode of chopping and changing.
But amongst all of that lies one calm, immovable constant. The Englishman, regardless of context, provides an aura of control and certainty whenever he plays. Such an impact, as seen against Man City, galvanises the likes of Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera in midfield, and will be crucial when determining how far this side can go under Mourinho in the coming months.