Xavi meets Iniesta for Man United in Cleverley

Midfielder has injected life into England squad

Manchester United's Tom Cleverley is blossoming into an attacking midfielder for England reminding his club and country what they were missing last season.

Cleverley was the man behind England's victory in Moldova in the World Cup qualifier on Friday as he injected pace and fluency with his deft passes in only his second appearance at senior level.

He showed his striking ability when he scored in the shootout against South Korea representing Great Britain at the London Olympics.

Little wonder Sir Alex Ferguson has kept faith in his home-grown talent who gave United a flying start before being laid low by injury last term.

Ferguson spurned the temptation to sign Brazilian Lucas Moura or Croatian playmaker Luka Modric or any other midfielder for that matter when there is Cleverley during the summer transfer window.

The 23-year old has arrived like a breath of fresh air for England earning rave reviews from former skipper Alan Shearer no less.

"What Cleverley, who won only his second cap against Moldova, offers is a player who with one touch, on the move, going forward, can inject pace into the whole movement of the team," wrote Shearer in his column in The Sun.

He added: "He makes sure the ball coming out of defence or deep in midfield continues quickly on its way up field putting the opposition swiftly on the back foot.

"The sort of football that undoes teams at the very highest level — the sort that does not give opponents time to think.

"He looks like a player who is already one move ahead. Of course everyone else needs to be on his wavelength for it to work."

Praise for Cleverley came from two-goal scorer against Moldova Chelsea veteran Frank Lampard: “Tom is a pleasure to play with and with him being at such a young age, he's going to be right in the middle of the team for years to come."

England manager Roy Hodgson was also pleased with Cleverley who caught his eye during the Olympics.

"The Games were good for him and important for me as well because that is where I sort of 'discovered' him, although of course I knew about him before," said Hodgson.

"You could call him an attacking midfielder but he's an attacking midfielder in the same way as Cesc Fabregas, he's capable of coming back and winning the ball where necessary."

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