Michael Carrick is set to retire at the end of the season to join Jose Mourinho's coaching staff at Manchester United.
Manchester United captain Michael Carrick has named the player he expects to replace him at Old Trafford. But rather than an expensive summer signing, the veteran midfielder believes rising homegrown star Scott McTominay who comes through from within.
The 36-year-old Carrick, who was forced to miss a number of games earlier this season after undergoing a heart procedure in November, is set to retire at the end of the season and join Jose Mourinho's coaching staff behind the scenes.
McTominay, meanwhile, has been getting more and more opportunities after finding favor with manager Mourinho, and Carrick has high hopes for the 21-year-old.
"The improvement has been so great over the last six to 12 months, when we've seen him training with us a lot more. You can see that he steps up to every challenge that has been set in every environment," Carrick said of his young team-mate in an interview with MUTV.
"He is an athlete. He is strong, quick and very good on the ball. He has got all of the attributes to have a really good career. He just needs those breaks at the right times, which so far he has had. Hopefully he will keep taking his chances," the skipper added.
Lancashire-born McTominay, who is yet to be capped by England at any junior level - he is also eligible for Scotland, was a surprise inclusion in United's first-team squad towards the back end of last season and was handed a debut by Mourinho in a Premier League clash with Arsenal.
He has appeared 12 times in all competitions so far this season, playing the full 90 minutes as United beat Huddersfield in the Premier League earlier this month. Another start against the same opposition in the FA Cup fifth round this weekend is also a distinct possibility.
"He is willing to learn and listen. That is one of the biggest things for a young lad, to have that attitude. Of course I am here to help him and I try to do it as much as I can," Carrick explained.
"I know he will take my place some day and that is not something I would be afraid of, or try to put him off, because it is important to help the future and Scott is definitely that.
"It is my responsibility to do all I can to help him. It is something I really enjoy, to see the younger lads coming in and getting a chance. Whether it be in my position or not, it's how the game goes and how the club evolves."
Along with Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba, as well as Axel Tuanzebe and Angel Gomes, McTominay's emergence is helping to further secure the ongoing youth legacy at United, with at least one academy graduate in every matchday squad for the last 80 years.