Forward-thinking Cleverley out to silence critics

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Manchester United loanee Tom Cleverley is eager to prove his critics wrong in a more advanced role at Aston Villa this season.

The England international will spend the remainder of this term on loan at Villa Park, having seemingly been deemed surplus to requirements by Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford.

Cleverley has shown signs of promise in a midfield three under Villa boss Paul Lambert - largely playing alongside Fabian Delph and Ashley Westwood.

The 25-year-old came in for criticism on occasions at United, especially during the latter stages of David Moyes' ill-fated tenure, but Cleverley feels he can flourish in an attacking role at Villa.

Asked by the Birmingham Mail about the criticism he received at United, he explained: "If you looked at the games, the areas I was playing in were a little bit deeper and under different systems.

"It probably didn't suit my game perfectly. I'm motivated to prove a few people wrong. And hopefully that does increase my performances."

"All my best games for Manchester United and England have tended to be in a three - that’s a system we play here so it suits me.

"I want to be more advanced in that three and hit both boxes."