Belfast Telegraph

It's an honour to take over from Roo and lead United, says Carrick

 

By Simon Peach

Michael Carrick has been confirmed as the new captain of Manchester United following Wayne Rooney's exit. All-time top scorer and captain Rooney's return to boyhood club Everton after 13 years was confirmed on Sunday.

United boss Jose Mourinho has moved quickly to name a new skipper, with long-serving midfielder Carrick handed the captain's armband.

"It feels great and it is such a huge honour to captain such a great club," he said. "It is my 11th year now and I came as a 25-year-old. I never thought I could be here for so long and achieve so much.

"Now, to lead the boys and look after the young boys, to guide them in some ways, it is a nice thing and a real pleasure.

"I came to this club as a footballer and I am now a huge fan. I have grown to love the club over the years and to be in this position is very special for me."

Carrick joined United from Tottenham in 2006 and his contribution was recognised in a testimonial last month.

The 35-year-old is the longest serving player at Old Trafford following Rooney's exit, although he looked set to leave the club last summer. A change in management saw Carrick handed a one-year deal, then a further contract extension this summer.

"I will just be myself," he said of his style of captaincy. "You can't change and it is wrong to come into the role and suddenly change, shouting and screaming at everyone, telling them what to do.

"I am not like that. I will speak when I need to speak but I am quite laid back and chilled out really. I will try to lead by example."

Meanwhile, Liverpool's new signing Mohamed Salah will not feature in their first pre-season friendly at Tranmere because of immigration protocol.

The Egypt international, a £34.3m signing from Roma, began training at Melwood on Saturday a few days later than the rest of the squad.

However, standard immigration procedure requires him to leave the country and then return.

"Mo Salah is here in training but cannot play because of the rules, so that's what we have to accept," manager Jurgen Klopp said.

"We will try to get the working permission or the visa, I'm not sure what it is we need to get but we have to go to Paris and leave him there for a day or two and then he'll come back. We are hopeful he can play soon."

Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho will also not feature at Prenton Park as they only returned to training yesterday after an extended summer break following international commitments.

The England international is looking forward to playing alongside the Brazilian again.

"He's in great shape. I can't wait to see the 'Little Magician' back on the pitch again," he said.

Away from the first team, Klopp has pledged to give Steven Gerrard all the support he needs as the former captain prepares for his first full season as coach.

Gerrard has taken over the club's Under-18s team, having closely associated himself with that group during his initial roving role at the club's academy in February. He will oversee them in their first pre-season friendly against Burton Albion behind closed doors at St George's Park and Klopp is keen to give the former midfielder all the help he requires to develop the club's next generation of players.

"I can imagine how excited he is," said Klopp. "It's a wonderful job to work with these skilled boys and to do the things you think are right for them. It will be a fantastic time for him. Of course we'll have a close relationship with him, we always had it.

"It's very important for us because that's our next generation and we want to help them."

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