Tom Cleverley must be one of the most maligned players in the recent history of English football. At Manchester United he seemed to be constantly criticised as the Red Devils struggled to find form under David Moyes.
The midfielder may not have been in the best of form, but neither was most of his teammates and Cleverley seemed to be made the scapegoat for the team’s poor performance under-former Everton boss Moyes.
Every pass that went astray or mistake he made was magnified by boos and the criticism from the Old Trafford crowd.
He will never be booed again as a United player though, as his contract is set to expire at Old Trafford this summer and he will move on. Cleverley had spent last season on-loan at Aston Villa, who are looking for him to join on a permanent basis.
However, Everton have started negotiations with the midfielder’s agent and the Toffees now look like a possible summer destination for the much-maligned England international.
Everton boss Roberto Martinez is a big fan of Cleverley, having managed the midfielder in a loan spell during his time with Wigan. The Catalan boss has sung the praises of Cleverley in the past and even defended the midfielder during his most difficult time.
The former-Wigan boss attempted to sign Cleverley prior to his move to Villa and the midfielder is believed to be keen on being re-united with the Spaniard at Goodison Park.
Cleverley has recently admitted that it would be difficult to leave Villa, after the influence Villa boss Tim Sherwood had on him. However, a move to Merseyside is now looking like a definite possibility for the 25-year-old.
Tom Cleverley enjoyed a promising start to his football career and was expected to be a star of the future. He showed really big potential in his loan spells at Watford and Wigan, before Sir Alex Ferguson decided he was ready for the first team at United.
Unfortunately he never quite lived-up to the hype surrounding his early career and he ended-up joining Villa on-loan last summer. He was struggling to find form until the last few weeks of the campaign, when he suddenly provided vital goals that helped Villa survive relegation.
Sherwood had obviously re-instilled some of the confidence that had been previously missing from the midfielder’s game at United and under Paul Lambert at Villa. His performances started to improve and it now looks like with the right guidance he can fulfil his potential.
It seems that both Tim Sherwood at Villa and Roberto Martinez at Everton will provide the midfielder with the confidence he needs to flourish.
Everton boss Martinez has recently revealed that he is only likely to have a small budget to strengthen his team this summer. For all the criticism levelled at Cleverley, he could prove to be a bargain signing.
He is a good age, still has potential and knows the manager well. Everton have not really got much to lose in signing Cleverley on a free.
They will be adding an international midfielder to their squad for nothing. If it does not work out then they can always sell him on at a profit. It seems like a no-brainer for the Toffees to me.
As previously mentioned Villa are interested in signing Cleverley on a permanent deal this summer. They are not the only competition that the Toffees have for the midfielder’s signature though, as the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham have also been linked with a move for the player.
For me Tom Cleverley moving to Everton this summer will be an ideal move for everybody. The Toffees have underachieved this season and are likely to back amongst the challengers for the top six in the new campaign, this time without the distraction of Europa League football.
They are in need of new signings though and they need affordable reinforcements. I believe that with Martinez’s support Tom Cleverley can regain his confidence and start fulfilling his potential on Merseyside.
Where will Tom Cleverley be playing his football next season?