There have definitely been moments in his career when Tom Cleverley has felt harshly judged given his achievements to date, but now the 25-year-old is in high demand following an excellent run of form at Aston Villa.
As with a number of Villa’s squad who were quite obviously floundering under Paul Lambert, the Manchester United loanee is seemingly reborn since Tim Sherwood’s appointment.
Cleverley has played an integral role in moving the club away from the Premier League danger zone, thriving on his instructions to break forward from midfield and finding the target in each of Villa’s last three games.
His last goal settled the game between Villa and West Ham to leave the Villans on the cusp of survival.
Now the Man United midfielder who officially becomes a free agent at the end of this season has a big call to make.
Sherwood joked in the aftermath of his side’s latest three-point haul that if the Basingstoke native didn’t sign for Villa he’d ‘drop him for the cup final.’
However, the former Tottenham boss was more sincere when lavishing praise on the player, suggesting the club were very keen to keep Cleverley permanently, which could be difficult with a string of suitors lining up.
Among those are Everton, who have long been linked with a potential move for the England international, while Southampton are another name in the frame.
Parent club Manchester United have kept eerily quiet, meaning in all probability the 25-year-old will still be surplus to requirements at Old Trafford despite his recent exploits.
Some sources suggest all Cleverley needs to sign on the dotted for his adopted club is a permanent offer from the 13/5 FA Cup underdogs.
Villa fans will be hoping that this document is well on its way to being pushed in front of the player’s nose.
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