Forty two league games into Tom Cleverley’s Manchester United career it is clear that the England midfielder is not the answer to David Moyes’s midfield problems.
After an impressive loan spell at Wigan, Cleverley was thought of as a replacement for Paul Scholes. But after just two just two goals in 49 Premier League and Champions League appearances and ab averaged of only 0.7 key passes per game, it is clear that Cleverley is certainly not the reincarnation of Scholes.
Cleverley’s strength is said to be his passing ability and his 88.7% completion rate this season is good enough to leave him 24th in the division. Cleverley fans will also point out that his passes per game has gone up from 30.5 to 55.1, the 22nd highest figure in the Premier League.
But 3 assist in 42 league games indicate that Cleverley’s passes are not creating chances like Scholes used too. Instead he has turned into the type of player who just keeps the ball circulating, without necessarily creating much with it or doing huge amounts to win it back. So more of a poor man’s Michael Carrick than the reincarnation of Scholes.
With David Moyes preferring to play a 4-4-1-1 formation with two wide players, Cleverley’s style of play is too similar to Carrick’s for the two of them to play together, further limiting his playing opportunities.
For all the promise that Cleverley showed at Wigan, and in his early first team matches, he has morphed into this play it safe conservative midfield player, which is not what United need at the moment.