Should Everton have done more for Watford-bound Tom Cleverley?

Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey in action with Watford's Tom Cleverley

The former Manchester United midfielder looks set to join Watford permanently.

Watford's Tom Cleverley in action with Burnley's Andre GrayWatford's Tom Cleverley in action

Joining Everton in 2015 from Premier League giants, Manchester United, Tom Cleverley always looked like an England youngster with heaps of potential. A quick-thinking central midfielder, Cleverley had begun to break into the United first team under Sir Alex Ferguson, but after his departure, Cleverley fell out of favour.

However, as a young England start who was rated highly by one of the greatest managers in Premier League history; Cleverley's stock was still high, and he made the move to Roberto Martinez's Everton in the summer of 2015.

After 42 appearances in total, and just two goals, Tom Cleverley again began to fall out of favour at Goodison Park. With Roberto Martienz falling under pressue, the Spaniard decided to sacrifice the quick passing play of Cleverley for the safe, more defensive options of Gareth Barry and James McCarthy in the centre of midfield, and so the midfielder once again found himself desperate to get away and find regular football.

But a lifeline appeared, and in the summer of 2016, the former Manchester United man joined London club Watford on loan for the season. A team that like to pass the ball and move it around the pitch quickly, Cleverley's game seemed much more suited for the Hornets.

Everton's Tom Cleverley in action with Manchester United's Antonio ValenciaFormer Everton midfielder Tom Cleverley in action

And after a string of impressive performances, it is now being reported by The Daily Express that Watford and Everton are drawing closer to completing an £8 million deal for the midfielder, but are just haggling over the final details. Looking once again like the player many got excited about during his time in Manchester; might Everton have done more to help Tom Cleverley develop? 

The truth is that Cleverley's time at Goodison Park boils down to two problems. Could the midfielder have done more? Probably. Did he play to his full potential when given the chance? Not always. But did the Toffees ever really set up to allow him to flourish in his best role, as a box to box midfielder? The answer is no. The former Manchester United man has been a victim of circumstance at his last few clubs, but seems to have finally found a home now with the Hornets.

Everton's Tom Cleverley looks dejectedFormer Everton midfielder Tom Cleverley

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