13/01/2017

Factfile | Tom Cleverley

A lot has happened since Tom Cleverley's Player of the Season year with the Hornets in 2009/10.

Having gained promotion from League 1 with Leicester City the previous season, Cleverley's 35 appearances in Watford yellow yielded 11 goals and five assists, with the 19-year-old affirming to Sir Alex Ferguson his potential as a first-team prospect at Manchester United.

A further successful loan spell the next campaign, this time in the Premier League with Wigan Athletic, gave Cleverley the platform to begin his career at Old Trafford in earnest. 

Cleverley in action on loan at Wigan

His return to United in 2011/12 coincided with the initial retirement of Paul Scholes, and Cleverley was tasked with the near-impossible feat of replacing the Red Devils’ legendary number 18 (Scholes was persuaded to return to United later that season). 

Debuting against rivals Manchester City in the Community Shield in 2011, Cleverley went on to make 79 appearances in Manchester, netting five times. 

His time at the club included 2012/13 Premier League glory, the last of Sir Alex’s 13 League titles with United before retirement.
 

Cleverley wins the Premier League with Manchester United

It was during this time that England took notice of Cleverley’s progress, and in August 2012 he made his full debut for the Three Lions in a 2-1 friendly win over Italy. He has gone on to earn 13 caps, the last coming in 2013, and also represented team GB at the London Olympics in 2012. 

Domestically, it was perhaps at this point that Cleverley’s impact at United began to wane, and after 22 appearances under David Moyes in 2013/2014, he made a loan move to Aston Villa to secure regular football. 

It was a fruitful spell. Thirty-seven appearances and three goals in all competitions during 2014/15, including a run to the FA Cup final, sparked a tug-of-war between Villa and Everton which culminated in Cleverley signing a five-year-deal at Goodison Park in July 2015. 

Cleverley and former teammate Craig Cathcart after 15/16's 2-2 draw at Everton

He made his Toffees bow against the Hornets on the opening day of last season, and despite a return of two goals and six assists in all competitions, the England man has found playing time harder to come by since Ronald Koeman replaced Roberto Martinez at the club.

Ten appearances before Christmas prompted the 27-year-old to look elsewhere, and Watford have been quick to add the technically gifted midfielder to their ranks. 

First Team 13/01/2017

Cleverley's Watford Return

Watford FC is delighted to officially confirm the signing of Tom Cleverley from Everton.

The ex-Manchester United midfielder, who joins on an initial six-month loan from Goodison Park, has completed all formalities and will be available for Walter Mazzarri’s squad this weekend.

Cleverley will be familiar with his surroundings, having spent 2009/10 on loan with Watford from first club Manchester United.

He was voted Player of the Season at Vicarage Road, after 11 goals in 35 starts for Malky Mackay’s Championship team.

 

Cleverley nets on his Watford debut back in 2009

Other loans – at Leicester City and Wigan Athletic – helped prepare Cleverley for an impact back at Old Trafford. He recorded 79 appearances for the Red Devils, and was part of 2012/13’s Premier League-winning squad.

After a season on loan at Aston Villa, Cleverley moved to Everton from United in summer 2015 - the now 27-year-old featured 42 times for Everton.

Watford’s deal with the Toffees includes a summer option for the Hornets to retain Cleverley on a permanent contract, should they so wish.