Michael Carrick was appointed Manchester United’s current captain earlier this month, an addition to the role he also plays for the England national team.
Carrick, 35, worked hard and waited patiently for both positions which come with age, experience and quality, but with only one year left on his contract and Wayne Rooney’s departure to Everton, the central midfielder has already picked the next player to lead Jose Mourinho’s team in his absence.
Carrick is expected to pass his wealth of experience to the younger generation, off and on the pitch, before a choice is made among top ranking candidates — Antonio Valencia, David de Gea and Ander Herrera.
However, the skipper sees Paul Pogba as the next in line.
“Pogba has the charisma, strong character, and belief to be the next captain. He can do it,” the captain said at a press conference.
“Mourinho has a long-term plan for the next player to wear the armband after me, and he [Paul] is probably in that bracket where you’d say – ‘yeah, he can be a future captain’.
“You need that inner confidence and inner belief. You’re going to take some knocks, suffer some bumps and bruises along the way and take a lot of criticism. But you have to fight that off and be strong enough to get on with the job and believe in yourself.”
That’exactly what the Frenchman has done since arriving Old Trafford from Juventus as the world’s most expensive player.
Pogba, a multiple trophy winner with the The Old Lady, scored five goals in his first campaign with United, but has since adjusted well after a year of trial and error.
“It was a terrible season for him — he used the last one year very wisely. I know he started with United as an academy player, but so many things happened in his life as a footballer who has played in different leagues since then,” Carrick added.
“It is understandable that he had to be scrutinized for the massive paycheck he received to play under Jose Mourinho.
“Everything about his transfer from Italy raised eyebrows, but you probably knew that such a player would need time and character to settle in and improve. I believe he has proved his worth — and there’s more to come next season.”
Manchester United proved they’re on course to take their rightful position as the league’s best.
Mourinho’s men won 2-0 against Manchester City in Houston, USA — its first ever defeat on foreign soil thanks to superb goals from Marcus Rashford and new arrival Romelu Lukaku.