Tom Cleverley Braced for Manchester United Recall, Latest Red Devils Rumours
By Rob Blanchette , Featured Columnist Feb 2, 2015
Tom Cleverley's immediate future has been thrown into turmoil with the news Manchester United have given Aston Villa an ultimatum for Paul Lambert to sign the England international.
United say they will recall the player to their squad if Villa do not agree to immediately take up their £7 million option to sign the midfielder.
BBC Sport journalist David Ornstein broke the news on social media, and confirmed the Villa Park club had declined the request from the Red Devils:
Jon Super/Associated Press
The 25-year-old departed United at the start of the campaign, finding a new home in the Midlands and the chance to be a starter under Lambert.
Cleverley has featured heavily for the Villains, playing 19 times in the Premier League, but providing no goals or assists for his new side, per WhoScored.com.
The news of his potential recall to Carrington will be of shock to both player and loan club—as well as United fans who thought they has seen the last of the lad from Bradford.
Going back to United would be bad for the player and all parties, especially as Cleverley is likely to not feature in United's first team—therefore ruining his credentials.
But the Mail Online say the player will be going nowhere, with Villa insisting they will not be pushed into any deal:
Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press
Gregg Evans of The Birmingham Mail recently assessed Cleverley's time at Villa Park and described his loan displays as "ineffective," but also stressed there will be a long line of suitors for the player if Lambert does not purchase the midfielder:
His United contract expires in June, which means he will be entitled to talk to other clubs about a move. Despite his ineffective displays, there won’t be a shortage of suitors interested in the 25-year-old, and Villa must weigh up their options over the weekend.
Although he’s a tidy midfielder with international and Champions League experience, he is yet to score or assist a goal for Villa. Supporters even cheered sarcastically when he was substituted at Villa Park recently, which goes some way to explaining how he’s failed to hit it off.
Boss Paul Lambert hasn’t lost faith with him yet but with Fabian Delph and Ashley Westwood returning in recent times, Cleverley’s place in the team is in danger.
Evans' assessment of Cleverley is on-point and he has not set the world on fire in the past few months.
He is an attacking midfielder by trade, and there is a train of though which suggests Cleverley needs to get back to doing the things he did as a teenager.
Sir Alex Ferguson saw the player as a conventional midfielder, more in the mould of Michael Carrick than Paul Scholes.
Both he and Anderson were trained and moulded into becoming players they are not, and both have seen their value and unique selling points evaporate.
Cleverley needs to stay at Villa until the end of the season, and United's recall threat seems hollow. If they bring him back to Old Trafford, they might as well allow him to leave on a free immediately.
The player needs to find a new home, and a coach who will allow him to express himself. Maybe then he will thrive and find his way back into Roy Hodgson's plans