Manchester United have been active in the transfer market this summer, but despite bolstering the squad with a number of top attacking players, a new central midfield playmaker has not been purchased. With Paul Scholes ageing and surely in his last year in the game, a new creative talent in the engine room has reportedly been on Sir Alex Ferguson’s wishlist for quite some time. However, with Tom Cleverley fit and playing well, United may well have Scholes’ replacement in their ranks already.
After impressing on loan at Wigan in 2010-11, Cleverley returned to Old Trafford the following summer, and came out of the blocks at the start of last term, surprisingly starting the vast majority of games for the Red Devils early on. International recognition was set to follow after a good first month of the campaign for the box-to-box man, but injuries meant that the remainder of 2011-12 was a cause of frustration for the Basingstoke-born man.
However, it now appears that Cleverley has shaken off the niggles that blighted his chances last term, and is set to play a key role for United this term. The 23-year-old has started all three of United’s Premier League fixtures this season, and looks to have cemented his place in the team straight away with industrious performances.
Scholes came off the bench against Southampton to inspire the side to victory, but it feels that now is the time that Cleverley is ready to step into the club legend’s sizeable shoes. If he can stay injury-free and maintain the promise that he has shown to date this season, Cleverley may prove himself as an important fixture for both club and country in 2012-13.