Arsenal supporters have been making a lot of noise in recent times after seeing their side secure a ninth successive victory in all competitions at the weekend.
Unai Emery’s men went into their clash with Fulham in the Premier League having won each of their previous five league matches, alongside two wins in the Europa League and a 3-1 success over Brentford in the Carabao Cup. And the Gunners made it nine on the bounce at Craven Cottage on Sunday as braces from Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang alongside an outstanding Aaron Ramsey goal sealed a 5-1 victory for the North London giants, thus moving them to within two points of leaders Manchester City.
Thus, there have been many thrilled Arsenal fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have taken to Twitter to react to the news that their side almost signed Michael Carrick back in 2004, only for manager Arsene Wenger to opt against it after an excellent midfield display from Cesc Fabregas in the 2004 Community Shield.
And while some of those supporters aren’t overly fussed by their side missing out on the Englishman, what with Fabregas going on to prove his worth to the Gunners, there is little doubting that Wenger made a huge error regarding Carrick given the career the midfielder would then go on to have.
Ultimately, it is undeniable that Spain international Fabregas went on to excel at Arsenal during his eight-year spell in North London, helping them to the FA Cup in 2005, and then to the Champions League final two years later.
However, even during his time at the Emirates Stadium, many still felt that Arsenal lacked that central midfielder who could dominate the middle of the park both on and indeed off the ball – Carrick could well have been that man.
The former England international, now assistant coach to Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, signed for Tottenham that summer before joining United two years later, for whom he then excelled with 464 appearances for the Red Devils, helping them to five Premier League titles, four domestic cups, and indeed the Champions League back in 2008.
In fact, there were few better midfielders in the Premier League than Carrick during his time at United, with the 37-year-old remarkably composed in possession and when under pressure, and thus able to pull the strings and help United dominate the midfield area.
Arguably, Carrick became one of the most underrated midfielders in the division given he wasn’t always chipping in with goals and assists and making the sorts of tackles sometimes associated with a central midfielder – instead, he was effortlessly patrolling the middle of the park to give United a platform from which to perform.
As such, the career the Englishman had, other than being hugely underused by his country, underlines just what an outstanding talent Carrick was, and how much he would have benefited any side in the country, perhaps even in Europe.
And in an Arsenal team that even now are still crying out for a dominant central midfielder, there is no doubting that Wenger made something of an error failing to land the Englishman back in 2004, regardless of how good Fabregas went on to become in North London.
Thus, those Arsenal fans unfazed by the recent revelations are so wrong, as Carrick would have significantly improved the Gunners were he to have moved there back in 2004 – thus, Wenger certainly missed out on a potential transfer masterstroke.
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