Ex-Manchester United man Mickey Thomas believes a move away from Old Trafford could revitalise Tom Cleverley’s career, following reports that the 25-year-old midfielder is set to become part of Louis van Gaal’s summer clear-out.
After enduring a frustrating 2013-14 campaign, the England international is now understood have been told that he does not feature in the Dutchman's plans going forward, with Aston Villa, Hull City and Valencia all reported to have submitted bids of around £8 million.
Often singled out for criticism during last season’s disappointing seventh-place Premier League finish, Thomas believes, however, that such treatment has been unwarranted, and has backed him to prove his qualities with a switch elsewhere.
‘He’s still very well thought of within the game – he plays for England after all,’ he told Sky Sports.
‘Everton were linked with him as well, and now you’re talking about Valencia and Aston Villa, so you can understand that he’s a very good player.
‘Unfortunately, he’s been held up to the same standards as the likes of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs and he’s just not that type of player.
‘He’s got his own way of playing and he’s been heavily criticised, unfairly in my mind, by Manchester United fans.
‘But I believe that it would be the best option to go out and play his football elsewhere.
‘It might just revitalise him and get him back on track.’
|Team||Pos||Goals||Goal Assist||Total Att Assist||Total Pass / apps||Pass Acc||Touches / apps||Unsuccessful Touch||Poss Lost All||Apps||Mins|
|Tom Cleverley||Man Utd||MF||1||0||10||51.68||89.62%||62.41||8||166||22||1,579|
Well-regarded coming up through the Old Trafford ranks, Cleverley has made 79 appearances since his United debut in 2011, having previously enjoyed loan spells at Leicester City, Watford and Wigan Athletic.
Going on to earn the first of his 13 England caps in August 2012, his poor form last season saw him miss out on a place in Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad, however, while he was also left off the recent squad for the upcoming matches against Norway and Switzerland.
Entering the final year of his contract, Cleverley’s preferred option remains a previously rumoured move to Everton to be reunited with Roberto Martinez, having played arguably some of his best football under the Spaniard during his 2010-11 spell at Wigan.
Whether the option of a switch to Goodison Park is still there remains to be seen, but it’s become increasingly clear that the only way he can get his once-promising career back on track is by leaving Manchester.