Date: 12th August 2011 at 2:00am
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It’s been a good week for Tom Cleverley.

After an impressive performance off the bench in last Sunday’s Charity Shield comeback against City, a surprise England call-up on Monday, there is the chance that Cleverley could make his first start for United in the Premiership opener against West Brom on Sunday.

After an impressive performance against City, Cleverley has certainly earned himself many fans, including Fabio Capello, who named the 21 year old in his squad for the friendly against Holland this week, before it was postponed. While it was only a friendly and we shouldn’t get that carried away, it at least shows the midfielder is on Capello’s radar and with a few more good performances, Cleverley could soon be following in the footsteps of close friend Jack Wilshere and appear for the national team.

After a string of excellent performances in pre-season and on Sunday, Cleverley certainly has impressed several United players, with Patrice Evra saying:

“You saw [at Wembley] that he is not afraid. He has a lot of energy and Manchester United need a player like this.

“He’s a quiet lad – he’s a bit like Scholesy in that way. He never talks much, he just does his job on the pitch. Players like him are the future and, to win the league, the boss is not going to be afraid to give young players a chance. He knows they can help us to win more titles. That’s the United way. It’s always been that way.”

What does this season hold for Cleverley then? The youngster can certainly make an impact for United this season, and offers a more attacking option in central midfield compared to the likes of Anderson, Carrick and Fletcher. With Sir Alex always keen to give young players a chance, Cleverley should get his chance to shine this season, even if it is mostly off the bench.

The comparisons with Scholes are a bit early at the moment – we need to see how Cleverley performs on a regular basis against top competition before we even attempt to make those comparisons – but even if Cleverley can partially fill Scholes’ boots, then it’s a good thing.

And with the likes of De Gea, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Cleverley and Wellbeck to replace retired legends like Van Der Sar and Scholes this season, there is an emphasis on youth this season, with Sir Alex keen to get the youngsters playing together regularly to create a new legacy at United when the great man retires.

The only thing that could affect Cleverley’s progress this season would be whether Wesley Sneidjer completes his on-off move to Old Trafford before the end of the month. With the club apparently ready to pull the plug on a move for Sneijder this would see Cleverley’s playing time increase and give the youngster a chance to try and fill the Scholes void at Old Trafford and earn his place in the United side.

What do you think – how much of an impact can Cleverley have at United this season?

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34 responses to “Is this the reason United have passed on Sneijder?”

  1. Paul says:

    Hey all you sneijder seekers just stop right there we don’t need sneijder we don’t, We need to trust in our boss(SAF) he will lead the way and that way is youth we need youth, how in God’s name did scholes get good? how did becks and the other former treble winners get to the top, because the boss gave them a chance so cleverley,welbeck,evans and the rest should get a chance. and who said we can’t win champions league this season i think with our current team and their spirit we can win anything.

  2. the gimp says:

    Awful article, very badly written and not very articulate……

  3. Olabisi says:

    Midfield has always been united problem; didn’t we have PS in the defeat to barca two seasons ago? What do we have to say about Real Madrid that were knocked out by the same team last season? Barca were just superior. After all we’ve parading the same midfield 4 seasons now, with only barca been the torn in our flesh. Sneider or not united will ever be and TC can play a part cos potential brings experience and confidence.

  4. kim firth says:

    agreed give youth a chance and fergie has always shown that to the youth.remember fergie’s fledglings?well they came to be the legends who until last season were strutting their stuff in the famous united shirt!
    we should at least be patient and i believe it will be a good season for us.
    a warning to rooney,he should not hold us ransom for not being able to sign a world class player ever again

  5. Mooner says:

    We have enough to win the league this year without Sneijder, we won’t win the chapions league with him. Great player but I think europe we should be thinking a couple of years ahead. Barca are probably the best team most have seen – no shame in that – its good to be the ones taking th fight

  6. tolu says:

    I think if man-utd is not gonna get sneijder we should try to sign more talented youngsters to give us more options in d mid-field, I believe in youths an development an believe cleverly and paul pogba would be as great as xavi and iniesta if given play-time

  7. james holden says:

    Great last point, how did iniesta and xavi become so good? They played with each other week in week out. People are deluding themselves over sneijder. Yes the guy is a brilliant talent but how were we ever going to fit him in? Have you ever seen him tackle, harass a player, win the ball back? No he would have left so stricken in midfield. Tom and Ando will do the business, I believe that. And to everyone that thought snejider was the one man to beat Barcelona, they’ve just and will bought sanchez and fabregas. Seriously, how is any team gonna compete.

  8. Milan says:

    Barcelona won Sanchez and Fabregas will be even stronger. Its center formation in comparison with United is much better and more mature football. But Ferguson hudie their, well, it has rescued us from the misery Cleverley, which would be in Barcelona or the playground did not let so is it really the UNITED wrong!

  9. James says:

    The team that has convincingly beaten us in two Champions League finals is the example. They once upon a time gave an opportunity to young players like Puyol, Valdes, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Busquest and of course Messi. They are some of the best players in the world and they cost Barcelona nothing. I’m not saying they didn’t spend as well, but they weren’t afraid to give these players, who form the core of the team, the opportunity.

    Manchester United can’t be afraid either to put there faith in young players. We invest in these young talent for a reason. It isn’t so that we have to pay £35 million and £250,000.00 a week for Wesley Sneijder. Don’t get me wrong, I would have loved Sneidjer, but the cost of the deal is ridiculous, and most fans must realise that. He is 27 also, so there is little value in the deal long-term. Its not like Rio Ferdinand where £30 million can get you 10+ years of solid service. Sniedjer clearly doesn’t want to move to Man Utd that much if he is unwilling to take a small pay cut, but it is his decision.

    Man Utd have a reputation of giving youth a chance, and the group we have now is the best we have had in years. We perhaps haven’t seen a lot of the production line since Giggs, Beckham and Scholes, but we have a group now. The manager has put the focus heavily on the younger players. Some like Dea Gea, Smalling, Jones, Anderson and Hernandez have been bought, but at good value for money. Others are club trained like Rafeal, Fabio, Evans, Cleverley, Pogba and Welbeck.

    This is the time to put them in and see what they can do. In a couple of years the majority of these lads could be top International footballers. Cleverley has worked his way up and done it the hard way. He is hungry and desperate to play for Manchester United. That is worth more than a player who is unwilling to move from a £200k+ wage demands. Cleverley is an intelligent footballer and reminds me a little of Iniesta. The more he plays with better players like Rooney, Nani and Young the better he will become.

    We saw last year with Hernandez that reputation means nothing. He was a £6 million unknown Mexican signing, and now today he is a potential superstar for the club. I wouldn’t swap him for Torres or any striker in the world. We gave him a chance and there is a team in the world that wouldn’t want him. Paul Pogba has done excellently in the reserves and was key to them winning the FA Youth Cup. He has all the attributes to be a star player, but he needs an opportunity.

  10. Andrew says:

    Dea Gea

    Rafeal Ferdinand Vidic Evra

    Nani Cleverley Anderson Young

    Rooney Hernandez