To many, Michael Carrick is one of the most sophisticated footballers England have in their ranks. Yet despite his obvious talent, Manchester United's central midfielder has been regularly overlooked by various England managers when it comes to the central roles, with Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Gareth Barry generally getting the nod.
That is not the case at club level, though, where Carrick is one of the first names on the teamsheet at Old Trafford. He may be yet to establish himself as a regular in the England side, but his inventive distribution of the ball and passing abilities have proved an invaluable for United ever since his £18.6 million arrival from Tottenham Hotspur following the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, where he made one appearance under Sven Goran Eriksson.
After brief loan spells at Swindon Town and Birmingham City earlier on in his career, Carrick, a product of the famous West Ham Academy which has also nurtured talents such as Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard, eventually left Upton Park for White Hart Lane in 2004 following the Hammers' relegation.
Now maturing into a classy midfielder, it was there that his reputation began to grow. Two years later he joined the ranks of Manchester United, where his all-round game has continued to develop. Able to play as a holding midfielder or in a more attacking role, Carrick has helped Manchester United to two Premier League titles and a UEFA Champions League title during his time at the club.