Joe Cole backs Aston Villa teammate Tom Cleverley for England recall

Tom Cleverley

The Manchester United-owned midfielder has been in resurgent form under new boss Tim Sherwood.

Aston Villa midfielder Joe Cole has told AVTV that teammate Tom Cleverley deserved an England recall based on his recent performances.

Cleverley, 25, has been a regular in the Villa side since arriving on a season-long loan from Manchester United in September, but his performances over the first half of the campaign were so lacklustre that former manager Paul Lambert even had to refute claims that he was being forced to start him due to a clause in his contract.

He has turned around his form in remarkable fashion since Tim Sherwood’s appointment, however, scoring in the past two games following a 16-month goal drought, and the Villa boss has made it clear in recent weeks that he wants to acquire his services on a permanent basis this summer when his United contract expires.

Amid his previous struggles, the loanee also fell off England’s radar after earning 13 caps during his time at Old Trafford, but Cole now believes that his fellow midfielder is starting to demonstrate the talent which first saw Sir Alex Ferguson label him as Paul Scholes’ potential replacement.

Speaking on Cleverley’s chances of lining up alongside Villa skipper Fabian Delph in the Three Lions side, Cole said: “Tom’s played really well. Sometimes people look at him and tell you what he can’t do but, if you look at his recent performances, he’s been excellent.

“He’s been consistent, fit and he’s a very intelligent footballer. If he keeps going the way he’s going then he’ll be back in the England squad for sure.

“The pool to pick from isn’t huge now and he’s been at a huge club. He’s got 13 caps, is in the prime of his career and is a massive talent as well.

“I see him as a player who can score goals from midfield too, as I see it every day in training. Realistically, he should be playing alongside the like of Delphy and Jordan Henderson for England.”

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