Carrick: Pogba can be a United star
Michael Carrick is convinced Paul Pogba will have a big future at Manchester United.
The 18-year-old is set to make his senior debut in tonight's League Cup tie at Leeds, having made steady progress since his controversial arrival from Le Havre in 2009. Pogba helped United land the FA Youth Cup last term and has been promised by Sir Alex Ferguson he will not be loaned out this season despite interest from Burnley.
And although Carrick is aware the teenager still has plenty of work in front of him, he feels the signs are encouraging for a top-class career. "Paul is a huge talent," said the midfielder.
"He has trained with us a number of times, so we have seen quite a lot of him and he looks very promising. If he goes about things in the right way and gets a little bit of luck at the right time, he is going to have a bright future."
Inexperienced Red Devils
Pogba is expected to be joined by Youth Cup-winning skipper Tom Thorpe, Ezekiel Fryers, Larnell Cole and Michael Keane in Ferguson's squad this evening, for what is bound to be an eye-opening experience given the hostility generally reserved for the Red Devils at Elland Road.
A number of experienced players, including Michael Owen, Ryan Giggs and maybe even Carrick himself are bound to be involved as well in order to try and avoid a repeat of the FA Cup tie in January 2010 when Leeds, then a League One outfit, inflicted the biggest shock on Ferguson in the competition during his entire time at Old Trafford.
"We are well aware what Leeds means, because of the fans and the rivalry over the years," said Carrick, whose only experience of Elland Road dates back to his West Ham days. "The FA Cup game was a bad day for us so I am sure the manager will pick a strong team."
It will certainly be a different team and it would be no surprise if Ferguson changed his entire starting line-up from the weekend win over Chelsea. "Rotation has been part of it since I have been here," said Carrick.
"People get carried away sometimes when you miss a game or two but the manager sees the bigger picture. As a player, you just have to trust him. It is frustrating at times but it is proven at the end of the season if you have a trophy.
"That is the way it is. Whoever comes in is not going to weaken the team in any way. They just offer something different. They are great options for the manager to have."