Saturday’s home defeat to Newcastle United saw Manchester United lose consecutive home matches at Old Trafford for the first time in more than ten years. Another abject performance this weekend leaves the current champions well off the pace in the Premier League and a place in next year’s Champions League would be in serious doubt. A lot of debate has centred around who Moyes should bring into his squad in the upcoming transfer window however, the arrival of new players must also lead to the departure of others.
Here we look at the top 5 candidates destined for the Old Trafford exit door.
5. Tom Cleverley
Tom Cleverley enjoyed a successful spell on loan at Wigan under Roberto Martinez and appeared destined for a bright future with United and England. He had a promising start on his return to United in the 2011/12 season however, his progress has stagnated in recent seasons. His creative limitations have been exposed and whilst Cleverley is a hard working ball winner, he is perceived as a player at his happiest when passing sideways.
His style of play contrasts against United’s philosophy of attack and creative flair; certainly it was what the fans expect from the team. A strong central midfield partnership has been the bedrock of previous United success, think Scholes, Keane, Robson and Ince.
Moyes did not replace Scholes during the summer transfer window and Cleverley has assumed his central midfield role alongside Michael Carrick. Cleverley is inevitably compared to Scholes, which is unfortunate given that Scholes was an exceptional talent and a once-in-a-generation player. However, it is that standard of player which is required in the centre of United’s midfield and Cleverley is never going to fulfil that criteria.
He is still young and as an Englishman, United would recoup an inflated transfer price for him. Cleverley has had his chance at Old Trafford but has never hit the heights expected. They should cash in on him now.
Fact about the Flop: Cleverley’s game is all about passing, sideways. This season his pass completion rate is currently at 88% in the Premier League, lower than rivals Flamini and Yaya Toure…substandard.
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This article was first posted on December 12, 2013