United boss holds on to Cleverley

Ferguson says Cleverley’s goalscoring prowess is one of the major

reasons why he has decided to keep the youngster at Old Trafford.

Although it appeared certain the 20-year-old would spend the season

away from Old Trafford, with Wigan and Newcastle at the head of the

queue to sign him on loan, Ferguson revealed on Friday that he had

decided to keep the Basingstoke-born midfielder. And one of the key

factors in his decision is the knowledge that Cleverley, who turned

in some eye-catching performances on the recent tour of North

America, scored 11 goals in 33 appearances for Watford last term on

his way to securing the Hornets’ player of the year prize. “Tom

Cleverley is going to stay,” confirmed Ferguson. “He is an

exceptional young player in the sense of his ability to play in

different positions. “He is such a mobile boy who can play wide on

either side and in central midfield. “Also, which he has showed at

Watford last year, he is a goalscorer.” It is a factor Ferguson

recognises he needed to take into account given Paul Scholes’

advancing years and his reduced contribution in finding the net.

Darron Gibson has done well in that area but Cleverley could

provide valuable support. “The days of expecting Paul Scholes to

score 15 goals a season have gone now,” confirmed Ferguson. “We

have to look at that area of the team because we must get goals

from midfield. “Tom has got outstanding qualities as far as

goalscoring is concerned, so he is going to stay.”