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Gary Neville thinks Michael Carrick is part Scholes, part Pirlo and part Busquets
The former Manchester United defender hails Louis van Gaal’s “unsung hero”, describing the midfielder as a a piano.

GARY NEVILLE HAS hailed Manchester United’s “unsung hero”, Michael Carrick, describing him as part Paul Scholes, part Andrea Pirlo, part Sergio Busquets and also likening him to a piano.

The midfielder has missed United’s last two games — losses to Chelsea and Everton following a six-game winning streak — and the former defender feels that the 33-year-old’s absence has been key.

United’s win percentage drops from 72.2 per cent with Carrick to 37.5 per cent without and Neville says that the England international is an inspiration for the younger generation with his composure and cultured approach.

“I’d say Carrick has the qualities of a Scholes or Andrea Pirlo, and of a Sergio Busquets,” Neville told the Daily Mirror.

“Busquets does more defending and Pirlo is more of a rhythm player, like Scholes. Michael is a mix between the two. It’s unfair to say he is the same as either, 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 Euro 2016. Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard have retired and now Carrick has an opportunity.

“I describe him as a piano. 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, players who can see the game, who are intelligent, who understand the game 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.”

Neville, who is part of England’s coaching staff, also pointed the finger at past Three Lions bosses and their use of central midfielders, adding that Carrick’s abilities will only be appreciated once he has retired.

He added: “We shoe-horned Paul Scholes to the left wing and it might be the same with Michael Carrick.

“In four years’ time we will think, ‘What a hell of a player he was’. No other country would ever do that.”

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