With Paul Scholes deciding to end his illustrious Manchester United career this week, speculation regarding a potential successor to the 36-year-old is gathering pace.
Tottenham playmaker Luka Modric and Inter Milan star Wesley Sneijder have both been suggested as replacements for the midfielder maestro, but the answer for Sir Alex Ferguson could be a lot closer to home.
Step forward Tom Cleverley, who has been touted as the ideal player to succeed Scholes in the long-term at Old Trafford.
The 21-year-old spent the entirety of last season on-loan with Wigan and Latics' first-team coach Graham Barrow saw enough from the cultured youngster to suggest he has a fantastic future.
“Tom is a very talented young man who is heading for the top,” Barrow told Manchester Evening News. “I fully expect him to make his mark at Old Trafford and challenge to take up the Paul Scholes role.
“He is good enough and he’s a bit special. United have a fine player and a fine young man returning to their ranks.
“Tom has made incredible progress and he’s going to get better in my view.
“United may well spend big to replace a wonderful player like Scholes but Tom will definitely feature at some point now he is back at Old Trafford.
“Is he a better player since joining us? That’s an understatement – he’s given 100 per cent, he has oozed quality.
“I wish he was staying but you can see he’s one of those United lads who is going to be very special.”
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