Tom Cleverley is hoping to seize the opportunity of a fresh start after securing a move to Watford, initially on loan until the end of the season.
The midfielder wrapped up his return to Vicarage Road where he first played on loan from Manchester United in 2009-10 and, if all goes well, he could sign for the Hornets on a permanent basis for £8m in the summer.
Watford will mark his fourth club in two years after he failed to live up to the rich early promise he showed at Old Trafford in his early 20s. Blooded by Sir Alex Ferguson in the mould of Paul Scholes, he became a full England international but has since faded and, after spending 2014-15 on loan at Aston Villa, he joined Everton on a free transfer.
Then manager Roberto Martinez hailed him as one of the most technically gifted homegrown players in the Premier League but Cleverley again found himself unable to hold down a permanent first-team role, losing his place in the side this season under Ronald Koeman.
“I'm 27, I'm in my prime, so, yeah, it's been a frustrating first-half of the season for me,” Cleverley told Jim White on talkSPORT today.
“I think I needed to get out, and Watford gave me a great opportunity to get my head down and play some football. So hopefully I can help the team until the end of the season.
“It was good for me to meet [manager Walter Mazzari] and we were clear going forward how I can help the team.
“I've got experience now in all areas of the Premier League — at the top with United, at the bottom with Villa and in the middle with Everton so I feel I can help out the team, definitely.
“For me personally I want to play as much as I can, assist and score as many goals as I can, and just to feel like a real footballer again.
“It's alright training every day, but you want to be playing on the Saturday and feel that buzz of being part of football matches again.”
Reader Comments (10)
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1 Posted 13/01/2017 at 19:17:24
2 Posted 13/01/2017 at 20:07:48
3 Posted 13/01/2017 at 22:02:52
Make no mistake, he will retire a multi-millionaire and has made the most of his talent by moving regularly and securing signing on fee after signing on fee. But anyway, God loves a trier.
Not quite in the Naisey mould, but almost.
Good luck to you Tom.
4 Posted 14/01/2017 at 01:11:03
Well, it turns out you can and it's a loan with an £8-million option to buy.
5 Posted 14/01/2017 at 09:37:19
Better than some on here and social media depict but clearly doesn't want to be a squad player and rightly so.
7 Posted 15/01/2017 at 11:50:21
8 Posted 16/01/2017 at 17:02:59
Good luck to him, hopefully he and Everton would have moved on by the end of his loan spell.
9 Posted 16/01/2017 at 18:07:50
10 Posted 16/01/2017 at 21:24:45
Eh... I think you'll find that he did save Villa. He scored 3 goals in the last 5 games. 1 was the winner against us and 1 was the winner against West Ham. They lost their last two matches and stayed up by only 3 points. Tom's late run of goals kept them up.
Take your point though, he didn't improve us at all. Surprisingly didn't turn out to be the most "incredible free transfer in Premier League history" ... which will surely go down as one of the most incredible statements in Premier League history?
11 Posted 16/01/2017 at 22:58:27
You only have to look at the number of Under-18s internationals that are plying their trade with Brentford and the likes.
Still, I hope he comes good; a solid no nonsense squad player.