8. Tom Cleverley

Nationality: England
Position: Midfielder

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Tom Cleverley rejoined the Hornets from Everton in 2017, having previously spent time on loan at Vicarage Road from Manchester United.

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

Having gained promotion from League One 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.

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.

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.

He made his Toffees bow against the Hornets on the opening day of 2015/16, and despite a return of two goals and six assists in all competitions, the England man eventually found playing time hard to come by.

Ten appearances before Christmas prompted the 27-year-old to look elsewhere, and Watford were quick to add the technically gifted midfielder to their ranks on loan for the end of 2016/17.

The Hornets got their man on a permanent basis in March 2017, Cleverley putting pen to paper on a five-year deal at Vicarage Road.

The tireless midfielder had a moment to remember as he lashed home a late winner against Arsenal during an impressive 2017/18 campaign for the Englishman, up until injury ruled him out from February onwards.

He played 17 times in 2018/19 after Achilles surgery ruled him out for a large part of the season. Further injury troubles limited Cleverley to 19 appearances during 2019/20 as Watford were relegated from the Premier League.

By this point Cleverley felt firmly at home in Hertfordshire, referring to Watford as 'my club' in interviews, and was determined to drag the team back to the top flight.

This commitment was proved true by his wholehearted displays, often leading with the captain's armband, throughout 2020/21 as Watford immediately bounced back, Cleverley himself netting four goals and creating two assists.

A particularly impressive display in a vital 1-0 win at Norwich City won Cleverley the Individual Performance of the Season award in 2021.

Back in the top-flight, the midfielder general made 28 appearances in a yellow shirt, his second-highest Premier League total.


August 12th, 1989


175 CM


67 KG

Join Date


I felt part of the club from day one of the loan but now I really feel this is home and hopefully it is for a very long time.





2022 - 2023



2021 - 2022


2020 - 2021



2019 - 2020


2017 - 2018


2016 - 2017

Aston Villa

2014 - 2015

Manchester United

2014 - 2015


2009 - 2010

Other Players