This season is extremely vital for Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley. Already, the 24-year-old has seen his place in England squad snatched away by Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere, all he needs now is to lose his place to United’s £27.5m Marouane Fellaini, to complete his downfall.
Things were rosy for the youngster. That cameo performance against Manchester City and following up with one-after-another brilliant performances in the league led the fans to forgetting the heartache of not landing Wesley Sneijder, then prime target of the Red Devils, couple of seasons back.
His progress was sadly disrupted with an ankle injury that forced him in the sidelines for a long period of time.
Cleverley is technically one of the better midfielders in England. Sir Alex Ferguson once called him potentially the best midfield player in Britain, while, England manager Roy Hodgson has heaped praise on him from time to time, even comparing his role with that of Cesc Fabregas. In a way, this hype (exaggerated) has created an enormous pressure on the young lad, where he has to perform almost over his limit to justify such claims.
But, he is no longer under the guidance of Ferguson. He will be used by a new manager, David Moyes, who probably has a different set of ideas. And it is natural that having paid such huge price to land the Belgian plus former ties with the manager, he would automatically warrant a starting line-up berth at Old Trafford. And even if, he struggles to adjust to his new environment, there are high chances that Moyes would back him more, in order to vindicate his decisions. It happens everywhere. Moyes is no exception.
Already, Shinji Kagawa, another star midfielder has voiced his frustration for not getting ample game time at United. Home grown lad Cleverley may have to wait like Kagawa to get occasional games, which in fact would hamper his chances of impressing his England manager.
It will be interesting to see, how Moyes shapes up his midfield at Old Trafford. It is highly unlikely that Moyes would drop Michael Carrick for Cleverley. The youngster really has a tough fight in his hands to cement his position, first in his club team and then the England team again.