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Cleverley eyes United return

01 Sep 2010 09:45:56

Cleverley eyes United return

Tom Cleverley has targeted 2011 as his breakthrough year at United and is temporarily off to Wigan to bolster his bid. The Reds England Under-21 midfielder has signed a season-long loan deal with Roberto Martinez's Latics side with the option of a January call back but certainly hasn't given up on his Old Trafford dream. Cleverley has plotted a sensible career route to his ultimate United vision. In 2009 as a teenager he inked in a spell in League One on his CV with Leicester City. Then he moved up a notch into the Championship with Watford last season. The next logical step was the Premier League. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had initially suggested the Basingstoke-born player would achieve that quest this term with the Reds. Tom went on United's pre-season tour of America and impressed. But with seniors like Michael Carrick and Darron Gibson hardly having a first team look in during the early stages of the campaign and Anderson and possibly Owen Hargreaves to step up the fierce competition once back from injuries, Cleverley saw his so far smooth progress strategy ending up in a cul de sac. Thus, the engine room goalscorer, who was 21 this month, elected for the temporary Wigan switch. But he's determined to return with a first team challenge. This was the right next step for me, Tom told M.E.N. Sport. 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 have been out on loan for two seasons and they have been good for me and my improvement. I didn't want that progress to be hindered. So with all due respects to the reserves, I didn't want to go back to that level. Quality 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. That's exactly the type of side I need. I can still stay at home so it is perfect. There are a lot of quality players at Wigan so I will be learning. I would have loved to have stayed at United but I had to be realistic. This is the best approach. I know there might be some regrets if suddenly there is a spate of injuries in United's midfield but you cannot afford to think that way. Cleverley now intends to keep his progress chart on an even upward climb. 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. Hopefully, I will be able to show at Wigan that I can get on the ball comfortably in the Premier League and score goals as well. 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.


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