Cleverley: I’ve played my last game for Manchester United

by Sam Peoples

Tom Cleverley doesn’t expect Louis van Gaal to recall him from his loan spell in January and believes he has played his last game for Manchester United.

The 25-year-old completed his loan move thanks to an extension from the Premier League after deadline day had passed, amid fears his move had broken down over wage demands.

Despite spending nearly 15 years with United, Cleverley admitted he was happy to leave the club and get away from the negativity he was subject to: “I am happy to get away from some of the negativity that surrounded me at Manchester United,” he said.

“If any footballer gets a bit of stick off their own fans they are going to be hurt, but it has made me strong as a character.

“For as long as United aren’t winning trophies, players will get criticised, I’m fully aware of that.

“I’ve still got a league title and 13 England caps. You don’t turn into a bad player just because someone says it on Twitter.

“Football is a game of opinions, you can’t please everyone and the main opinion for me is the manager I am playing under. If you can please the fans at the same time that is a good season.

“I’d say I’m motivated to prove a few people wrong and hopefully that does increase my performances.”

“Manchester United is in the past, my future is Aston Villa, that’s all I’m bothered about.”

Cleverley was unfairly scapegoated at times but his startling lack of progression understandably frustrated fans given how much promise he had as a younger player.

Now, instead of looking back at United with any immediate fondness, Cleverley is focusing on the future and has left with no sense of regret.

“If I’m honest I don’t think I’d play for the club again,” he added.

“The manager made it clear I was not going to play every week at United.

“It was a tough season for us last year. If all the players say they were high in confidence last season I think they would be lying. It wasn’t just me. It was the rest of the squad too, that rubs off on the fans, too.

“I’ve got away from the negativity of that and I’m now onto a new challenge which I can’t wait to get stuck into.

“[Leaving United] is not something I was scared of. I know in modern day football it’s rare that anyone plays for one club for the rest of their life like Giggsy or Scholesy. It’s been a big part of my life.

“Any footballer wants the best opportunity to play every week. It was common sense for me to try and get this move.

“I feel it can be an upward curve to getting my career back on track. I want to improve Villa. Then I want to try and get back into the England squad like Fabian Delph has. There’s a lot of things I want to achieve here.

“Manchester United is in the past, my future is Aston Villa, that’s all I’m bothered about.”

Image: Twitter/utdindonesia

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