It has only been one week since Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson declared that his young midfielder Tom Cleverley was remaining at Old Trafford this season rather than being sent out on another loan spell. It therefore came as a surprise when it was announced on the final day of the transfer window that the 21 year old agreed to spend the remainder of the 2010-11 season on loan at Wigan Athletic. That decision has caused a certain amount of anger towards Sir Alex amongst some United supporters, an anger that Truly Reds believe is totally unjustified.
Disappointment by those who were hoping that Cleverley will be given an opportunity to challenge for a first team spot is understandable but comments like “what happened to ‘giving youth a chance this season’? Empty words from Fergie again” and “Sometimes it makes me wonder if the backroom staff know what they are doing” which appeared in the press after the decision was announced are totally uncalled for.
The England Under 21 international is highly rated and was linked with a move to Newcastle United earlier in the summer. After toying with the idea of retaining Cleverley as a member of United’s first team squad, Ferguson has now decided that a move to the DW Stadium would most hasten the promising youngster’s football education.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez told the official club website “Tom is a very exciting young player and we are delighted he his coming to us. He can play in a number of positions and will provide us with some good new options, and add great competition to the squad. We have been watching him for some time and feel he is the right sort of player to join our squad. Young, hungry, desperate to play for the club in the Premier League and to grow with us.”
Cleverley is currently on under 21 international duty but will join up with his new team mates later this week. He is likely to make his Latics debut against Sunderland and fellow United loan player Danny Welbeck. For those critical of Ferguson’s decision to send another one of his players on loan there can only be one question that they need to ask themselves.
Imagine being the father of a boy with the potential that Cleverley obviously has, can there be any other manager you would rather trust than Ferguson to mastermind his development? Agree with his decisions or not, Sir Alex has shown over many years that there is simply nobody better.
Was Ferguson wise to send Cleverley on a season long loan to Wigan?