Was Manchester United Right In Selling This Midfield Star?

Manchester United, the club has spent a humongous amount of money in the past couple of years. It was never expected from the club like Manchester United, that they would crack the bank to bring that many signings. The fee of many players like Darmian, Rojo, Schneiderlin and Herrera are still not justified and yet, the team is doing nothing great.

United witnessed an extraordinary era of Sir Alex Ferguson and saw a magical rise of many players. A little name that sparked for some time during the Ferguson era was the name of the young Englishman, Tom Cleverly.

The boy joined the Red Army at the age of 11 as a trainee in the Manchester United academy. To cut a long story short, he enjoyed most of his time as a loanee from Manchester United to the various clubs of England. He experienced a playing time at Leicester, Watford, and Wigan Athletic before becoming a permanent settle at the Theatre of Dreams.

With Paul Scholes announcing his retirement in the 2011-12 season, it left a big void the Manchester United’s central midfield. Alex Ferguson spotted and he was identified as the right man to continue the norm left by the English legend. According to Sir Alex Ferguson Cleverly was Manchester United’s ‘Best Player’ in their 2-1 victory over Barcelona in the pre-season friendly and that indicated the possibility of Tom Cleverley’s first team dream. The young Englishman settled down very well into the squad and started to feature in almost every game for the side.

Cleverly was always praised by the manager as he was brilliant in what he does. Looking at his passing abilities, he was instantly compared by the recently retired Paul Scholes the same season. His linkup play with his colleagues was praised by the fans as well as the players. The player had a great career until Ferguson’s magic at Manchester. With David Moyes’ arrival at the club, the team faced a major downfall and so does Tom. His form started to deteriorate; he touched the rock bottom at this very young age and faced a harsh criticism from the Old Trafford supporters.

Well, this was not the end of his career. The arrival of the Dutch Gaffer Louis van Gaal bought many international names like Di Maria, Falcao and Daley Blind and so Cleverley found himself on the fringe. He was eventually sent out on loan to Aston Villa where the midfielder started a new life and began to come back to his shape. After his end of the loan spell with Villains, he joined Everton in 2015 and hence, the story continues.

Manchester United, in their past couple of years has lost the creativity in their play. Even with the arrivals of Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin, the team lacks the attribute. If leaving the new signings beside, Cleverley could have been an important part of the Manchester United’s resurgence. He is capable of playing every position in the midfield. At his time with Aston Villa, he was deployed on the right wing and with Everton came calling, he started playing as a central or sometimes as an attacking midfield.

Cleverley is still capable of setting a tempo for the team and he could have been provided a fine mix of creativity and energy, if and only if a proper support from the fans would have been received. With Michael Carrick playing as a holding midfielder and Rooney as an attacking one, he could have been the Engine for the side who would have helped the team in forward runs.

A much-deserved loan spell at Aston Villa gave the Englishman a great confidence. While his time at United, he was heavily criticized for his poor ball control and his passing options. Under the guidance of Tim Sherwood, the trait was vanished in a single season. With most of the current Manchester United players struggling the Premier League, the 26-year-old Englishman would have been a perfect fit in the current scenario.

With his cool and composed style of play, he averaged 83% of passing accuracy and created 22 chances this season. With his range of passing and his creativity, he could have been a player that the fans would have loved.

Talking about the question that was Manchester United right in selling Tom Cleverley? I’d say a big YES!

Even with the humongous ‘invested’ amount, the team cannot find a perfect playmaker. He surely would not have been the best in England, but he could have been a great fit in the squad.


Written by Swapnil Bhopatkar

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