Manchester United’s perfect start to pre-season has continued following the 5-3 win against Inter Milan on penalties.
Louis van Gaal is quickly learning all about his squad and one player who is likely to have impressed him is midfielder Tom Cleverley.
Several reports suggested that Cleverley was heading into pre-season with his United career hanging by a thread, as there were various suggestions he could be sold to make squad space.
However, he showed LvG enough for the Dutchman to make him captain against AS Roma and he was superb when he came on for the second half last night against Inter Milan.
Cleverley bridged the gap between defence and attack perfectly against Inter, which allowed the more creative players to focus on pressing high up the pitch and staying in advanced positions.
It was also encouraging for United fans to see him getting stuck in across the middle of the pitch, trying not to allow Inter to settle on the ball and have too much time in possession.
He’s also a player that LvG chose to trust with the penalty shoot-out, making no mistake and sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.
Of course the nature of the shoot-out meant substantially less pressure than would have been the case in a competitive competition but Cleverley showed a great degree of responsibility.
The trick for Cleverley will be to carry forward the momentum that he’s creating in pre-season at the moment.
The midfield of United’s side is going to be one of the most competitive areas of the squad and he has to try and force his way into the team around the likes of Michael Carrick (when fit), Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Marouane Fellaini and anyone else LvG decides to bring in.
Here’s what United fans made of his performance on social media site Twitter.
great performance from the team, Zaha, Kagawa and Cleverley looked lively, Rooney/Mata/Herrera/Welbeck brilliant as usual— abdul (@GaalsVan) July 30, 2014
Good performance from Cleverley again something I like to see— Grizzly (@yammazwilson) July 30, 2014
Decent performance and its good to see Cleverley playing well. #mutour— Kevin O'Leary (@KevinOLeary12) July 30, 2014
Great performance by Cleverley and Zaha this. :)— Cody Yan (@dyco89) July 30, 2014
Great performance, even more confident for the season after that with Blackett, Fletcher, Cleverley etc. looking good #mufc— Anthony Baker (@AnthonyBaker27) July 30, 2014
Cleverley has been playing well during the tour. Really pushing to stay at United!— Footy Is Life (@footy_islife) July 30, 2014
Tom Cleverley was amazing when he came on on 2nd half. 1st time Zaha playing and he was brilliant as well. #mutour— badboy-da-killer (@badboy_da_kiler) July 30, 2014
Cleverley is playing well. Can't believe I'm saying this. Lovely piece of skill there— harun (@fffharun) July 30, 2014