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Tom Cleverley has three weeks to make himself undroppable

Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley is likely to be the biggest loser as Marouane Fellaini links up with his new club.

The Belgian completed a transfer just shy of the £30 million mark last night to give David Moyes an extra option in Manchester United’s midfield and it’s hard to see how Cleverley won’t make way for Fellaini.

Looking at the way United have set up so far in the Premier League, Moyes seems to like having a strong duo of players in the middle of his team, flanked by wingers with a creative player in behind the main striker.

That attacking midfield position will be filled by Wayne Rooney when he’s available again following a bad cut to the forehead, expected to be around three weeks, which means it’s more than likely going to be a combination of Fellaini and Carrick in the middle of United’s team.

How they play together and interact will be fascinating to watch because they are both players who can switch between attacking and defensive roles easily, meaning a simple case of covering when the other player is out of position.

It makes sense for Fellaini to play as a slightly more advanced midfielder than Carrick because Carrick has shown over the last couple of seasons how effective he can be reading the game, breaking up the play and generally making interceptions.

That will allow Fellaini to push on and pin the opposition defence back inside their own final third, creating a physical presence United can use to keep the ball in that area of the field.

Alternatively, when United are under pressure, the pair of them can close up and sit in front of the back four with Carrick’s intelligence and reading of the game complimenting Fellaini’s more physical presence in the middle.

It’s a shame that Fellaini’s arrival could force Cleverley out of the side because the England star is not a bad player, he just seems to be striving for the sort of consistency that would make his position in the starting eleven unquestionable.

Fortunately, Rooney’s injury means that Cleverley may not be asked to make way just yet, with the chance that Fellaini could be used in the number ten role just behind Robin van Persie.

In that case it’s all down to Cleverley to give David Moyes one hell of a headache because there is very little chance that Rooney won’t slot straight back into the side as soon as he’s fit and able to head a football.

There is a reason that David Moyes started the season showing faith to Cleverley over getting Shinji Kagawa into the team but he really needs to raise his performance levels because at the moment if it came down to it, very few United fans would argue against the 24-year-old making way for the club’s new signing.

What do you think? How can Cleverley approach Fellaini’s arrival?

image: © eschipul

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