The midfielder joined Wigan on a season-long deal on deadline day and is looking forward to the opportunity to play in the Premier League.
He had impressed for United in pre-season and was not initially expected to be sent out on loan by manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
However, after failing to be involved in United's opening three games, the England Under-21 international felt a loan move was the best route forward.
"This was the right next step for me," Cleverley told the Manchester Evening News.
"Sir Alex Ferguson had said he wanted to keep me, but looking at the size of United's squad and the quality of the midfielders, I worried I might not get many chances.
"I went to see the manager last week and had a chat and we both came to the agreement that it would be best to go out on loan.
"Wigan suits me down to the ground. I don't know the manager Roberto Martinez, but I've heard good things about him. I know he likes to play football and you can see that the way Wigan play.
"I would have loved to have stayed at United, but I had to be realistic. This is the best approach."
After previous loan spells at Leicester and Watford, Cleverley feels the chance to play in the top flight will stand him in good stead on his return to Old Trafford.
He added: "Having tested myself in Division One and the Championship, I felt ready to give the Premier League a go.
"My aim is to prove myself at this level and then hopefully next season it could be the Champions League with United!
"I needed the week-to-week test of the Premier League if my game was going to keep on the up. I wanted to keep going up a level.
"I am confident in my ability and I want everyone to see it. If I do well at Wigan then in 12 months my confidence will be sky high and I will be better equipped to tackle the challenge at United."