Tom Cleverley Biography

Name :
Tom Cleverley

Born :
12 Aug 1989

Birth place :
Basingstoke

Height :
1.75m

Weight :
67 kg

Position :
Midfielder

Squad Number :
23

Appearances :
4

Joined United :
01 Jul 2005

United Debut :
7 Aug 2011 v Man City (N)

International :
England U21

Tom Cleverley is a highly-rated young midfielder who has become an England Under-21 international after his rapid ascension through the United ranks.

His clever approach play and increased goal threat have taken Tom to the brink of first team football at Old Trafford, and he has scored twice during pre-season friendlies for the Reds' senior side.

The Basingstoke-born youngster quickly rose through the club's youth system to become interim Reserves captain, and was nominated for the prestigious Denzil Haroun Reserve Player of the Year award, alongside Sam Hewson and Richard Eckersley during 2007/08.

Following a late call-up to join the squad in South Africa during the 2008 pre-season campaign, Cleverley marked his non-competitive debut with a goal as United claimed victory in the Vodacom Challenge final. Just a few weeks later, he was handed the No.35 shirt in the senior squad.

The midfielder was named on the bench for United's League Cup matches against Middlesbrough and Queens Park Rangers at the start of the 2008/09 season, before joining League One outfit Leicester City on loan in January 2009 until the end of the season.

Cleverley made his debut for the Foxes at Yeovil the same month, and scored his first goal for them in a 4-1 win at Walsall in February, only for a dislocated shoulder to cut short his spell at the Walkers Stadium.

However, in recognition of another promising campaign he was again shortlisted for United's Reserve Player of the Year award, narrowly missing out to James Chester.

Cleverley's first Old Trafford goal came in United's pre-season win over Valencia in August 2009. Soon after he moved to Watford on loan, where his magnificent form for Malky Mackay's side earned him the Hornets' Player of the Year award. Tom scored 11 times in 33 appearances for a struggling side, and might have had more but for a serious knee injury which curtailed his season-long loan by a month.

Despite such a disappointing end to an eye-catching season, Cleverley did not let the setback get him down and, following a return to full fitness, impressed during United's pre-season tour of North America in July 2010, netting twice.

Sir Alex insisted Cleverley was very much part of his plans for the 2010/11 campaign, but with competition for places particularly fierce in midfield, the boss opted to send Tom on a season-long loan to Wigan Athletic on transfer deadline day, believing the experience would most hasten the promising youngster's football education.

He was soon validated, as Cleverley turned in a string of impressive performances and became an integral part of Roberto Martinez's side as they staged a late-season rally to avoid relegation. Upon the expiry of his loan, the midfielder said: "I’m going back to United looking to build on what I’ve done at Wigan and hopefully I can make my mark there."

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