Much-maligned midfielder Tom Cleverley appears to have reached a crossroads in his Manchester United career. Initially touted as the ball-playing, creative midfielder the Red Devils craved upon his return from his Wigan loan in the summer of 2011, the 24-year-old has stagnated to the point of ridicule. A petition to ban Cleverley from the World Cup squad reached over 17,000 signatures and signalled how far his stock had fallen.
His reputation appears different inside football to that of the watching public though, as the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Roy Hodgson and Roberto Martinez have all shown to rate him highly.
Indeed if Cleverley was to be made available, Everton boss Martinez would almost certainly show an interest. England manager Hodgson has also proved to think a lot of Cleverley given his place in a great deal of his squads, even playing in the No. 10 role in some of Hodgson’s early games. At United though, he has become outfought and outclassed in many of the side’s biggest fixtures with few highlights beyond winning the Premier League last season.
This season he has been something of a scapegoat in many of United’s uninspiring performances leading to calls to sign a more dominating midfielder who can add some physicality and forward bursts to the central areas.