He is a United player through and through. He grew up supporting our club since the age of 10 and has been part of the youth academy since the tender age of 12. Tom Cleverley has United blood running though his veins and yet every single one of his performances is widely criticized by the United fans.
This will not be a post convincing you why he should be sold nor will it be a post making you think he is some sort of Paul Scholes replacement because both of those posts would be pretty unconvincing. Both of those arguments hold little matter and can easily be dismissed. However one thing is definitely for certain. He has been used as a scapegoat far too often this season.
Our season currently lies in shambles and the core reason for that is due to our lackluster and laborious midfield. Thus that part of the pitch has become a happy hunting ground for all of the critiques of Manchester United.
Players who are first choice in the midfield include Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher, Fellani and Tom Cleverley. Carrick can not be critised as he has recently been injured and was one of the finest players in the Premiership last season. Fletcher has just come back from a long term illness and thus is still making up for lost time. Fellani is currently nursing a hamstring injury and thus a proper verdict on his stay at Old Trafford can not be reached as he has not played enough. This leaves behind Cleverley who is subject to abuse from the ‘fans’ who make him the scapegoat for all of our midfield problems. He is often critisized for not making the more ambitious pass however when you abuse a player and criticize him on a day to day basis how do you expect him to make a pass that not only requires skill but confidence. I am sure he has the former as he has progressed through a world famous academy however the latter seems to be lacking enormously which to me is rather unsurprising. If any of you wonder why he lacks confidence check out #AskCarrick on twitter.
Cleverley has a great engine and has bags of energy and keeps the game ticking for United with steady build up play and short quick passes. He also has to make up for his midfield partner’s (Carrick) inability to tackle. His closing down of players is second to only Rooney and his ability to read the game is great as is his hunger for the game. Despite his average physique he is willing to challenge the second balls and headers against more physical opponents. These are all qualities you expect of a CM at Manchester United however for me Cleverley currently lacks the true passing range of a Gerard or Carrick. This is due to his lack of confidence due to harsh criticism from the ‘fans’ has lead him to play it more safe and short.
Personally I see him as part of the Man Utd future. He has the club philosophy engrained into him and as years go by he will only improve. We have always fielded a player from our youth academy in our Starting XI to act as the heartbeat of our team and I can see Cleverley being that in the future. However he needs to improve his game by being a bit more ambitious with his passing and a bit more clinical with his finishing to ensure this. This can only happen if we, as the fans stick by him during this testing time. If we don’t nobody will.
Let me know your thought on Tom Cleverley in the comments and if you enjoyed reading this article please follow my blog to receive regular updates and as always thanks for reading!