Having impressed on a number of loan spells, Cleverley used United’s pre season to impress on Sir Alex that he was ready to be included in United’s assault on the league.
Initially looking good and securing a place in the England team (although he never got to play due to the London Riots), an ankle injury picked up against Bolton meant he missed large chunks of the season. The return of Paul Scholes meant he found playing time hard to come by and when he did it wasn’t quite with the same verve as his displays at the start of the season.
Cleverley acknowledges the impact injuries had on his season and hopes that next season he won’t face such problems. Speaking in the Manchester Evening News, Cleverley said:
“It has been a nightmare at times but I am only 22 and have around 15 years ahead of me yet. I just hope I have got it all over and done with now.
“There were times during the season when I thought I was the unluckiest footballer in the world.
“From a great start it became the hardest season of my life but it has made me mentally stronger.
“I’ve always had to cope with disappointments in my career. I had two injuries over the years (undergoing shoulder surgery and having a knee problem in loan spells at Leicester and Watford respectively) but I got through them.
“This was the hardest yet. If you had said to me after the Everton game in October that I wouldn’t start another Premier League game in the season I would have been massively gutted.
“But that turned out to be the case and it was tough to come to terms with.
“There is nothing more exciting in life than to be playing for Manchester United. To have that taken away is very hard to deal with.
“I don’t feel I am owed anything. I’ve had some bad luck and now I have just got to get on with it.”