Michael Carrick is now 'essential' for England, says former Chelsea midfielder.



Former England midfielder Ray Wilkins believes Michael Carrick has proved he is now an essential member of Roy Hodgson’s side.

Carrick started England’s Euro 2016 qualifying win over Lithuania on Friday and was introduced against Italy on Tuesday just before half time, playing a pivotal role in reinvigorating England’s play in the 1-1 draw in Turin.

His club Manchester United have won 11 of 16 games the midfielder has started this season, including two huge recent wins over Tottenham and Liverpool, and Wilkins recognises his influence both domestically and internationally.

“I think Michael has become an essential and integral part of our side,” said Wilkins.

“From the professional eye, he is superb. He gives a serenity to the whole side and England looked a whole lot better with him sitting in there.”

Wilkins, a former Chelsea and Manchester United player, believes Carrick is now emerging from the shadow of Manchester United greats Roy Keane and Paul Scholes, who perhaps overawed him in his early Red Devils career.


“He seems to be coming to the fore and is his own being. I’m delighted for him. I think you’ve only got to see it from the Manchester United situation – he’s looked outstanding,” said the 58-year-old.

The former Chelsea caretaker manager was also keen to offer some words of advice to Raheem Sterling and his representatives, with the Liverpool forward reportedly rejecting a new £100,000-a-week deal at Anfield.

The Reds are five points adrift of fourth-placed United in the Premier League this season, and the 20-year-old has been linked with European giants Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

“Liverpool is a spot on club for him. It has to be about football and playing, and at Liverpool he does that because Brendan [Rodgers] plays him week in, week out,” said Wilkins.

“Raheem’s advisors should be telling him to stay put for the next two or three years and then maybe that move will come, but he has to make a career for himself first.”

Wilkins also offered a damning condemnation of Hull winger Tom Ince’s recent decision to turn down the opportunity to represent England Under-21s at the upcoming European Championships in the Czech Republic.

Wilkins said: “If a player decides to turn down an opportunity to play for his country then that is good night Vienna in my humble opinion.

“It is the greatest honour anyone can be given by their country and you should play for them.”

Source: talkSPORT


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