Cleverley ready for United first team role

Manchester United starlet Tom Cleverley says plying his trade at various levels of English football has readied him for life as a first team member of Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

After successful loan spells in League One with Leicester and the Championship with Watford, the Red Devils' youngster now has a full season of Premier League football under his belt with Wigan Athletic.

Despite playing in a struggling Wigan side, Cleverley has still caught the eye. The 21-year-old has grown as the campaign has gone on, scoring four goals to add to his impressive displays in the Latics' midfield.

And Cleverley performances haven’t gone unnoticed by his parent club, either. The Englishman’s attacking and battling attributes have led to comparisons to Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere by United fans.

Wilshere enjoyed a rewarding spell at Bolton Wanderers prior to his Arsenal breakthrough this year, and the pair could be in the England squad for this summer’s European Under-21s championship.

Cleverley, however, won’t let his focus slip from Wigan’s attempt to avoid relegation during their last-game-of-the-season battle against Stoke this weekend.

"Hopefully first of all I can have a good finish to the season on Sunday and a good summer with the under 21s if selected, and then into next season hopefully I can get a good pre-season under my belt and start featuring for Manchester United," he told Sky Sports.

And Cleverley believes that he is firmly in Ferguson's plans for the new season as the Red Devils prepare to defend their record 19th league crown.

"Yes, from what he's been saying.

 I feel fully part of the team there and the squad, and hopefully I can just hit the ground running in pre-season and play my way into the team," he added.

"That is what the plan has been for the last few years. I went out in League One, the Championship and now the Premier League, so it has been building up to next season when hopefully I can start featuring for the side and that will save the club from going out and having to buy another midfielder."

By Ross Quayle