Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley has conceded that he may have already played his last game for the club, after expressing his happiness at joining Aston Villa on loan.
The 25-year-old midfielder, who only yesterday told Aston Villa TV that he believed his decision to depart Old Trafford would see him take a step forward in his career, has reportedly admitted that it is unlikely he will ever play again for United as his contract runs out next year, according to Sky Sports.
Cleverley has been the subject of major criticism during his recent time at United, with many quick to attribute a large portion of the blame for last season’s failings on his shoulders.
The United flop
Though initially tipped for bright things under Sir Alex Ferguson the playmaker’s career stalled during the latter stages of the Scot’s reign, and the introduction of David Moyes did little to help his development.
Following Moyes’s dismissal, and Louis van Gaal’s consequent appointment, it would appear that the curtains are to be drawn on Cleverley’s Old Trafford career once and for all. It’s a notion that he doesn’t see too fazed by.
“I am happy to get away from some of the negativity. Whenever you are not winning trophies at Man United the players are going to get some stick,” he said.
“With me being out of contract at the end of the year if I am being honest I don’t think I would play for the club again.”
By Cleverley’s own admission Van Gaal made it clear from the off that the midfielder wasn’t in his plans moving forward. Though he was handed the captain’s armband for a match during United’s pre-season tour of the United States, the new manager wishes to impress his own style upon the squad quickly, and Cleverley simply doesn’t fit in.
Close to deadline day the rumours began to pick up pace suggesting that both Everton and Villa were keen on signing him. Roberto Martinez has confirmed that he did indeed try to sign the former England man, though it was Paul Lambert who eventually won the day.
Cleverley moved to the Midlands-based outfit on a season-long loan which will see him run down the remainder of his United contract away from Old Trafford, though there is always the possibility that Everton could return to swoop for his services when he becomes a free agent.
For now though the United flop will be focusing only on getting his reputation back up to a level where he can hold interviews without being targeted by trolls up and down the country. It would appear that his stock as a player is at an all-time low following the tumultuous last term at United, though Villa’s apparent resurgence could be poised to help him.
The Villans have so far won two of their opening three Premier League fixtures and remain unbeaten. Next up is Liverpool away though, which will certainly pose a challenge.