Cleverley playing for Everton in 2015
|Full name||Thomas William Cleverley|
|Date of birth||12 August 1989|
|Place of birth||Basingstoke, England|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|2009||→ Leicester City (loan)||15||(2)|
|2009–2010||→ Watford (loan)||33||(11)|
|2010–2011||→ Wigan Athletic (loan)||25||(4)|
|2014–2015||→ Aston Villa (loan)||31||(3)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:49, 14 June 2016 (UTC).
After starting his career in the youth set-up at Bradford City, Cleverley joined Manchester United at the age of 12. Between 2007 and 2009 he played for Manchester United's reserve team, and occasionally in first team friendly matches. Cleverley was loaned to League One side Leicester City at the start of 2009, for whom he made his first Football League appearances, helping the team secure the League One title and promotion to the Championship. He spent the 2009–10 season on loan with Watford in the Championship, where he scored 11 goals in 33 league games and was voted as their Player of the Season. On 31 August 2010, he joined Wigan Athletic on a season-long loan, where he scored four goals in 25 appearances and helped them to avoid relegation on the final day of the season. He returned to Manchester United for the start of the 2011–12 season and made his first competitive appearance in the FA Community Shield victory against Manchester City.
- 1 Club career
- 2 International career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Career statistics
- 5 Honours
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Cleverley was born in Basingstoke, Hampshire, but grew up in Bradford, West Yorkshire. He went to Hanson school. He was part of Bradford City's youth set up and the next summer he joined Manchester United as an 11-year-old trainee in July 2000. During the 2005–06 season, he made nine appearances for the under-18 side. He also received a taste of reserve team football when he was named on the bench for the team's 4–1 away win over Everton on 21 February 2006. His first appearance for the reserves came in a 0–0 away draw to Bolton Wanderers almost a year later, on 15 February 2007, by which time he had become a regular in the under-18 team. However, just over a month later, he suffered a long-term injury and was ruled out for seven months.
He returned to action in October 2007, playing for the reserves in a 1–1 home draw with Liverpool. The 2007–08 season marked Cleverley's emergence as a regular in the Manchester United reserve team, making 21 appearances as the team went on to win both the Manchester Senior Cup and the Lancashire Senior Cup, in which he scored in the final against Liverpool.He also scored his first goals in a Manchester United shirt on 23 January 2008, when he scored both of United's goals in a 2–0 away win over Bolton Wanderers in the Premier Reserve League. His consistent performances for the reserves earned him the captaincy of the team in the absence of regular captain Sam Hewson, as well as a nomination for the Denzil Haroun Reserve Player of the Year award – he lost out to Richard Eckersley.
In recognition of his performances for the reserves, on 24 July 2008, Cleverley was called up to the Manchester United first team for the remainder of their tour of South Africa and the match against Portsmouth in Nigeria. He made his first team debut against Kaizer Chiefs in the final of the 2008 Vodacom Challenge, coming on in place of Rodrigo Possebon at half-time, before he scored the third of United's four goals just after the hour mark.
He returned to regular reserve team duty for the 2008–09 season, but was given a first team squad number – 35 – when the first team squad list was announced on 15 August 2008, and was named on the bench for United's League Cup matches against Middlesbrough and Queens Park Rangers.
On 16 January 2009, Cleverley joined Leicester City for the remainder of the 2008–09 season and was given the number 7 shirt. He made his debut on 19 January 2009 in a 2–0 away win over Yeovil Town, coming on as an 85th-minute substitute for Matty Fryatt. After two goals in 15 matches for Leicester, Cleverley's loan spell came to a premature end after he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury against Colchester United. He then returned to Manchester United for treatment and underwent surgery on his shoulder on 2 April 2009. Although his loan had ended, Cleverley was presented with a medal on 24 April after Leicester secured their promotion as champions of League One.
Towards the end of the season, along with James Chester and Corry Evans, Cleverley was nominated by Manchester United reserve team manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær for the Denzil Haroun Reserve Player of the Year award.
On 18 August 2009, Cleverley signed for Watford on loan, and was able to play in their match away to Nottingham Forest that evening. He started the match and was booked within four minutes of the start of the second half, but then sealed a 4–2 win with a goal in the second minute of injury time at the end of the game. He then scored another goal on his home debut four days later, scoring Watford's second goal in a 2–2 draw with Blackpool, and became Watford's joint-top scorer with the second goal in a 2–0 win over Preston North End in November. Shortly afterwards, he extended his loan deal at Watford until the end of the 2009–10 season. Cleverley scored a further five goals in 20 appearances for Watford before a knee ligament injury in April 2010 ended his season prematurely. He went on to win the team's Player of the Season award.
Cleverley returned to Manchester United for the beginning of the 2010–11 season, and travelled with the squad for their pre-season tour of North America in July 2010. He came on as a substitute for Ryan Giggs at half-time in the first match of the tour against Celtic in Toronto, and scored United's third in a 3–1 win. He then netted his second of the tour on 28 July 2010, scoring United's fourth in their 5–2 win in the 2010 MLS All-Star Game; he controlled Darren Fletcher's flick into the box before lifting the ball over Wilman Conde's head and side-footing it past Nick Rimando.
On 31 August 2010, although Cleverley looked destined to stay with United for the season, Wigan Athletic confirmed they had agreed a season-long loan deal for Cleverley, with Manchester United retaining the option to recall the player from his loan spell in January. On 11 September, Cleverley made his debut for Wigan which was also his Premier League debut, replacing Mauro Boselli in the 75th minute and assisting Antolin Alcaraz in a 1–1 home draw against Sunderland. On 27 November, he scored his first goal for the club, also his first ever Premier League goal, in a 3–1 defeat away to West Ham United. Seven days later he scored his second for Wigan and first home goal in a 2–2 draw against Stoke City. However, following a Dubious Goals Panel ruling, this goal was taken away from Cleverley and credited as a Rory Delap own goal. In January 2011, Manchester United agreed to let Cleverley stay on loan at Wigan until the end of the season. Cleverley scored the decisive goal in a 2–1 away win over Wolverhampton Wanderers which lifted Wigan out of the relegation zone. Cleverley was one of Wigan's stand-out performers, and ended the season with three goals and two assists in 25 Premier League appearances.
Paul Scholes' retirement before the 2011–12 season left an opening in Manchester United's central midfield. Cleverley was identified by manager Sir Alex Ferguson as a potential homegrown replacement for Scholes. Cleverley was praised by Ferguson after playing the full 90 minutes in a 2–1 victory over Barcelona in a pre-season friendly match. Ferguson said that Cleverley was United's "best player" against Barcelona and he indicated that there is a strong possibility that he could be among the starting 11 in the opening fixture of the 2011–12 Premier League season against West Bromwich Albion.
Cleverley made his competitive debut for United in the 3–2 comeback win over derby rivals Manchester City in the 2011 FA Community Shield. He came on as a second-half substitute for Michael Carrick after United went 2–0 down at half time, and assisted Nani's equaliser, after a pass and move build up.
He started his first Premier League game for Manchester United on 14 August 2011, playing the full 90 minutes away to West Bromwich Albion in the first game of the 2011–12 season. After impressing in his opening game, Cleverley started Manchester United's second game of the campaign against Tottenham Hotspur on 22 August, getting an assist in the process. He played the full game against Arsenal on 28 August 2011, which Manchester United won 8–2. Cleverley sustained a ligament damage in his foot after being tackled heavily by Bolton's Kevin Davies in the 3rd minute of United's next game, a 5–0 away victory at Bolton Wanderers. It was later confirmed by the club that he would be sidelined for a month with the injury. In October 2011 he signed a new contract keeping him at the club until 2015. On 25 October 2011, Cleverley made his return from injury in the League Cup, a 3–0 win against Aldershot Town. He made another appearance 4 days later, away to Everton. Cleverley played in a more advanced midfield role, linking defence with attack and was arguably Manchester United's best player. He left the field of play after 57 minutes due to an ankle injury, but his performance was later hailed by his manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, as "outstanding".
On 20 January, Ferguson stated "I am hopeful in 10 days' time he will be training then we can kick on." Cleverley was due to return for the game at Old Trafford against Liverpool on 11 February 2012, but he was an unused substitute. He eventually returned in a UEFA Europa League 2–0 away win against Ajax at the Amsterdam Arena. On 26 September 2012, he scored his first goal, in a 2–1 win against Newcastle United in the League Cup. His first league goal was on 7 October 2012, also against Newcastle United. He scored his second league goal on 15 December with a fine first-time finish from the edge of the area in a 3–1 win against Sunderland. On 5 January 2013, Cleverley scored a goal from a Javier Hernandez cross in a 2–2 draw against West Ham United in a 3rd Round FA Cup tie. On 15 December 2013, Cleverley scored in a 3–0 victory over Aston Villa.
Aston Villa loan
With the signings of Ander Herrera, Ángel Di María, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw & Radamel Falcao for the 2014–15 season, Cleverley found himself on the fringes of the Manchester United squad under new manager Louis van Gaal, who had taken over from David Moyes over the summer. As such, he attracted interest from a number of clubs, including Aston Villa and Everton. Aston Villa made an initial bid of £8 million for Cleverley, but baulked at his wage demands. Everton then came in with an offer of £5 million that was rejected, before Villa revived their interest with a loan bid on 1 September. The transfer was completed at around 01:15 in the morning of 2 September, shortly after the expiry of a two-hour extension to the transfer deadline granted by the Premier League, but the transfer was eventually ratified later that afternoon after Aston Villa argued that they had completed the relevant paperwork before the deadline. Following his loan move with just a year left on his United contract, Cleverley admitted that his career at Old Trafford was over. On 25 April, he scored his first goal for the club in a 3-2 defeat to Manchester City. He scored again in the following game, a 3-2 win at home to Everton. He scored for the third game in a row for the first time in a 1–0 win at home to West Ham United.
Following the expiration of his contract with Manchester United, Cleverley joined Everton on 1 July 2015, signing a five-year contract. He scored his first goal for the club on 26 December 2015, when he headed in a last-minute winner for the Toffees against Newcastle United.
Cleverley was called up to Noel Blake's England Under-20 team for the first time on 12 March 2009. However, following a dislocated shoulder suffered while on loan at Leicester City a few days later, he was forced to withdraw from the squad, and was replaced by Leeds United midfielder Adam Clayton. Cleverley eventually made his Under-20 debut on 11 August 2009 in a 5–0 friendly win over Montenegro at The Hawthorns, missing an early penalty but going on to score two second-half goals.
Great Britain Olympic team
On 20 July 2012, Cleverley played in a warm up match for the Olympics at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough against Brazil national under-23 football team. The match finished 2–0 to Brazil, with Cleverley playing the full match. He played the full game in the tournament's opening fixture against Senegal; which ended 1–1. In the second group match against the United Arab Emirates, Cleverley was instrumental in GB's victory. He laid on the winner with an incisive through ball for Daniel Sturridge and generally impressed with his range of passing.
England senior team
In August 2011, he was called up to the England first-team squad for the friendly against the Netherlands by Fabio Capello. but did not end up playing as the game was cancelled on 8 August by The Football Association after the riots in London. He received another call-up for the Euro 2012 qualifying matches with Bulgaria and Wales later in September 2011 alongside fellow new England additions and club-mates Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, but did not end up playing.
He made his debut a year later in a 2–1 win against Italy on 15 August 2012. He made his competitive debut on 7 September 2012, playing the full 90 minutes in a 5–0 win away to Moldova during 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying and received praise for his performance from manager Roy Hodgson. On 12 October 2012, playing against San Marino in a World Cup qualifier, Cleverley made 165 touches during the game, the highest ever recorded for an England player. He also made two assists in the same game as England won 5–0.
In October 2011, Cleverley accepted substantial undisclosed libel damages over a false claim made by The Sun newspaper the previous August that he had "badgered" a girl for sex in Blackpool. Cleverley was at home with his girlfriend in Manchester when the newspaper said the incident had occurred.
- As of match played 11 May 2016.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Manchester United||2008–09||Premier League||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Leicester City (loan)||2008–09||League One||15||2||—||—||—||15||2|
|Wigan Athletic (loan)||2010–11||Premier League||25||4||—||—||—||25||4|
|Aston Villa (loan)||2014–15||Premier League||31||3||6||0||—||—||37||3|
- As of match played 19 November 2013.
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