Manchester United flop Tom Cleverley has started to rebuild his career during a season-long loan at struggling Aston Villa this term, but he will reject a permanent move there for one to their Premier League rivals in order to complete a reunion.
A product of the Old Trafford youth academy, Cleverley’s time at the Red Devils after they decided no to offer him an extension to his current contract and he is now most likely to join Everton on a free transfer in the summer, according to the Daily Mirror.
Toffees boss Roberto Martinez knows Cleverley well from a season spent on loan at the Spaniard’s former club, Wigan Athletic, in 2010-11. It was there where the 25-year-old really caught the eye and convinced Sir Alex Ferguson to keep hold of him.
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However, it did not pan out as the legendary Manchester United manager supposed and, after initially impressing and getting into the England squad, Cleverley struggled for form. A loss of confidence, perhaps by becoming a target for ridicule, has really only compounded this.
Villa took him on loan when it became clear that Louis van Gaal had no intention of suing him this season following a summer spending spree in excess of £150million. New arrivals such as Angel di Maria and Ander Herrera meant his already slim chances of playing were finished.
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At first there was no improvement in his form, but Cleverley’s confidence appears to be increasing slowly as the season goes on and his performances are improving. This is in contrast to Villa, who have struggled a lot and are in a relegation battle, though the appointment of Tim Sherwood has seen a slight upturn.
Despite this, and Villa’s willingness to talk terms, the report claims Cleverley has his heart set on joining Everton, reuniting with the manager who has got the best out of him so far in his career. This would be a good move for him, as the Goodison Park club is the kind of place he could thrive.
Blindness of EPL fans
Cleverley’s troubles have been a good example with what is wrong with the views of many people who watch English football. He has been mercilessly ridiculed by Manchester United and opposition supporters with the ‘what does he do?’ argument.
It’s as if keeping possession is not doing anything in the Premier League. Before his confidence really started to suffer, Cleverley was a decent creative force going forward and was ideal as the foil to a more conventional defensive midfielder.
He has a good engine and got up and down the pitch well, making challenges and recycling possession. Ok, he was probably never close to the standard required to be a regular at Old Trafford, but he is most certainly talented enough to be a decent Premier League midfielder.