Manchester United have been searching for a long-term Michael Carrick replacement since his retirement in 2018 but former player Ashley Young has identified who he thinks is the ideal candidate
Ashley Young believes he has found the perfect Michael Carrick replacement for Manchester United.
The Aston Villa wing-back spent almost nine years at Old Trafford, all of which were alongside Carrick as a player or coach, assisting Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since hanging up his boots in 2018.
Since the midfielder’s retirement, the Red Devils have struggled to replace his presence in the centre of the park and Young has picked out Paris Saint-Germain star Marco Verratti as the ideal candidate.
The 36-year-old says the Italian would be an “unbelievable signing” for his former club and additionally made an admission regarding two of his ex-United team-mates.
Young, who spent Aston Villa’s 1-0 victory over the Red Devils on the bench last Saturday, told BBC Radio 5Live : “The Michael Carrick type has been missing for years – Man United haven’t gone out and replaced Michael Carrick.
“Don’t get me wrong – Fred and [Scott] McTominay are good players but I don’t think there’s a Michael Carrick around.”
He then went on to say: “I was watching the PSG v [Manchester] City game and I think Marco Verratti is the closest one and nobody’s gone out to test the waters to try to sign him. I think he would be an unbelievable signing for Man United.”
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Young faced Verratti, 28, twice with United across two legs in the 2019 Champions League round-of-16 when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was in his interim period as manager and famously led his side through.
Solskjaer has often persisted with the pairing of Scott McTominay and Fred in midfield but has received criticism for his faith in the duo.
Despite their graft, neither are as adept on the ball as Verratti, who has been one of Europe’s best midfield playmakers of his generation, having been with the French giants since 2012 and helping Italy to win the European Championships this summer.
Solskjaer was recently asked about ‘McFred’ and told reporters why he has trust in the two players.
“First of all, the stats for them two together, we’ve had many good results,” he stated. “The energy they give us, the way they broke up play against Villa.
“I think they’re very instrumental in that respect, [they have] energy and desire too. There’s two I can trust that can always give you what they’ve got.
The Norwegian added: “Fans will always have an opinion on any team selection. When you’ve got good players, like me, it’s easy to say who should be playing, it’s harder to leave players out.”