Cleverley 'key' to title bid


Tom Cleverley's return from injury could prove to be a key component in Manchester United retaining the Barclays Premier League title, according to Roberto Martinez.

The 22-year-old midfielder started the season in impressive style, but has not featured since October after sustaining an ankle injury against Everton.

Cleverley is, however, due to make his return next month, and will further reinforce a United side on a fine run of domestic form.

Sir Alex Ferguson has seen his troops win four consecutive league games; scoring 16 times and conceding just once in the process.

United are now level on points with Manchester City at the top of the table, and Martinez believes Cleverley will provide the Old Trafford side with something extra.

"Tom Cleverley is a player you need to work with to understand the full package," said Martinez, who had Cleverley on loan at Wigan last season.

"The mentality he's got is quite unique. He's a winner and we all see what he can do.

"Tom will be refreshed - and that could be the key for United. He's going to be fully fit and it's going to be like having a new signing.

"He can make a big impact on the title race."

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