The Daily Mail has tipped Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley to get a new contract over the course of the season, following an impressive start to life under Louis van Gaal.
Often criticised last year, the Mail claims Cleverley is one of the players van Gaal asked his staff to monitor constantly, with impressive reports leading to regular appearances as United went unbeaten during their tour of the USA.
“The reports from the manager’s Dutch coaching staff have been so positive that Cleverley played in every game on tour and was made captain for the victory over Roma in Denver,” reports the Mail.
“It would be no surprise at all if a contract that is due to run out next summer is now extended, amid strong interest from Everton.”
Van Gaal said when he was unveiled to the press as United’s boss that he needed to review his squad to see if the current players could fit into the way he liked his sides to play football.
There have been plenty of reports already this week, which have suggested that boss is ready to pull the trigger on certain squad players, potentially bringing in more fresh faces before and just after the start of the Premier League.
Cleverley has revealed his belief that he can be part of van Gaal’s plans and that he has the ability to fit into the philosophy the Dutchman has already started deploying at the club.
“Under the new manager we are being told to think of things as a team but personally it has gone well. I definitely think I can fit into the way he plays. I don’t think I have got to make much adaptation because he likes passers, movers, and people who understand the game,” said the midfielder.
Should Cleverley be one of the players who avoids the axe, and the Mail certainly thinks he will, then he could be a crucial player over the first few weeks of the season with Michael Carrick injured and Marouane Fellaini likely to be sold.
It’s now up to him to maintain the momentum he’s built in pre-season and convince his critics from last season that he’s a better and more productive player.