It would be fair to say that Tom Cleverley certainly took his time before emerging as a first team regular at Old Trafford, having been farmed out on loan to three separate outfits. However, now he has become a key player in Sir Alex Ferguson’s plans, the midfielder insists that he has the Olympics to thank after he managed to play football on a grand stage for the first time in his career.
While Team GB did not fare very successfully in the Olympics, Cleverley was at least a stand out performer and many have said that it was his performances in this competition that have aided his international career. Roy Hodgson attended many of the team’s games and considering the fact that Cleverley has played the last three World Cup qualifiers, such claims certainly appear to arrive with substance.
However, it’s of course his form for United that most people will look to. For the last few years Cleverley has endured a frustrating time and after being on loan with the likes of Leicester, Watford and Wigan it has certainly taken some graft to get him to the level he finds himself now. However, after scoring his first United goals in the last few games, there are certainly signs that he could become a key fixture in the Red Devils’ plans for many years to come. Many are also pencilling in him in as Paul Scholes’ permanent replacement.
According to the 23-year-old, the Olympics are largely to thank for the above success. He told the media, “The Olympics were very important to me. It was perfect to get games and play competitive matches on a big stage. Roy Hodgson was at a couple of the games, I was in good form and I have managed to carry that on into the season.”