Over the years, Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson have developed some wonderful players from a young age, and it seems they have done it again, this time with Tom Cleverley.
The young midfielder has been a promising prospect for the last two seasons at Old Trafford, since returning from a highly successful loan period at Wigan Athletic.
Having already spent time with both Leicester City and Watford, he gained valuable Premier League experience with the Latics. With his performances so far this season, there is no question that the move to Wigan benefited his Old Trafford career tremendously.
At the start of the 2011/2012 season, Cleverley gave fans a sign of what was to come, impressing as a half-time substitute against Manchester City in the Community Shield. Having gone two nil down, he helped spark a United come back, grabbing an assist, as they turned the game around to win 3-2.
His performance meant he found himself in line for selection for the early league matches, striking a partnership with Anderson as United dazzled. However, Cleverley’s progress was soon on hold after injury forced him out for the majority of the season, and he barely featured.
But the Olympics proved the perfect stage for Cleverley to show his worth once again. Having battled injury for the majority of the league season, he made the Team GB squad led by coach Stuart Pearce.
It was during the tournament, and with some sterling performances in the middle of the park, that he caught the eye of the England boss Roy Hodgson. Since the Olympics, he has gone from strength to strength and showed all the poise and work ethic that is needed for a regular at the Theatre of Dreams. Working alongside Michael Carrick, Cleverley gives United great energy in the midfield, constantly closing down and pressuring opponents high up the pitch.
He has glimpses of Paul Scholes about him, and beginning to find the net a bit more regularly, he has all the characteristics to succeed at Old Trafford.
Cleverley has worked hard to become part of this United set up, and it is this graft and fight that Ferguson desires from all his players. Performances like we have seen this season show that he is taking all the right steps to become a pivotal figure for his club and country.
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