When Manchester United have a defensive injury crisis, Michael Carrick is usually called upon to play in the centre of defence. During the pre-season tour, with Chris Smalling, Nemanja Vidic and Jonny Evans all out injured, and Phil Jones not travelling after his selection in England’s Euro 2012 squad, Carrick played in defence against Shanghai Shenhua.

“It was quite a comfortable game for me anyway as playing centre-back, I didn’t have too much defending to do,” he told MUTV. “I don’t mind it. From time to time, it happens, and you have to do a job but it was a bit less serious here than in the past and we got away with it. It changes the whole game for you really to being in midfield with everything around you. Sometimes, there’s not much to do at the back and then you have to switch on so it’s good to have an understanding of the game and, hopefully, it will benefit me. It’s nice to get home. It’s good to come to different countries and different places in the world to see the fans and play our football but it’s nice to get home too. There is a lot of work ahead of us for two weeks and soon it’ll be the start of the season and then it all goes again.”