Gary Neville believes his former Manchester United teammate Michael Carrick does not get the credit his talents merit after comparing him to midfield greats Andrea Pirlo, Sergio Busquets and Paul Scholes.
The statistics confirm that United have won 72 percent of the games Carrick has started this season, but that statistic drops dramatically down to 37.5 percent when the England midfielder is absent, which he has been for large chunks of this season.
Carrick has started just 16 of United's 34 Premier League games this campaign and he has been absent for their last two, as a revival in fortunes for Louis van Gaal's side was halted by successive defeats against Chelsea and Everton.
Neville is clearly a huge admirer of Carrick, as he offered these words of praise for the 33-year-old: "I'd say Carrick has the qualities of a Scholes or Andrea Pirlo, and of a Sergio Busquets," Neville said, in comments appearing in the Daily Mirror.
"Busquets does more defending and Pirlo is more of a rhythm player, like Scholes. Michael is a mix between the two styles. It's unfair to say he is the same as one or the other -- he's different -- but he has those qualities.
"He's critical for Louis van Gaal and he's a very important player for England in the next 12 months leading up to a European Championship. Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard have retired, and now Michael Carrick has an opportunity."
Neville went on to suggest Carrick is an unsung hero for both United and England, and curiously said his style of play reminded him of a sedate musician.
"I describe him as a piano," he added. "You can go into a bar and listen to rock music, but Carrick is more like a piano player. He's peaceful. He's calm, he brings composure to everyone else around him.
"That's important for young players. We want cultured players. We want players who can see the game, who are intelligent, who understand the game, where to be, when to be [there] and be a coach out on the pitch. That's what he is.
"The reality is Michael Carrick will be remembered incredibly well by Manchester United players that played with him. But he'll only be respected when he finishes. He's an unsung hero.
"In three, four years' time we will think, 'What a hell of a player he was.' No other country would ever do that."