English Premiership

Cleverley hopes for England chance

2014-09-03 14:24
Tom Cleverley (File)

London - Tom Cleverley hopes to play his way back into the England team following his move to Aston Villa on a season-long loan from Manchester United after the clubs squeezed through a move a day after the transfer window closed.

The 25-year-old, who's loan was approved by the Premier League 16 hours after the transfer window shut on Monday, was omitted from the most recent England squad for Wednesday's friendly against Norway and Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland.

But the midfielder, who has often been subjected to derision at both club and international level after a number of low-key performances, believes that playing regularly for Villa after finding opportunities at United limited could mean he can add to his 13 international caps.

"First and foremost I have got to get back playing and hopefully as a by-product of that I can get back in the England team," Cleverley, who was on the standby list for Roy Hodgson's 2014 World Cup squad, told Villa's website (www.avfc.co.uk).

"The thing I am concentrating on though is trying to come in and hit the ground running so I can help Aston Villa. Playing football is what matters most to me and I'm looking forward to getting back to what I know I can do. This is the kind of club where I can do that."

Cleverley was a product of United's academy system and made 79 appearances for the 20-times English champions but was told he was surplus to requirements under new Old Trafford manager Louis Van Gaal.

The central midfield player said the chance of learning from Villa manager Paul Lambert, who won the Champions League as a player with Borussia Dortmund in 1997, and assistant manager Roy Keane, the former Manchester United captain, was too good to turn down.

"The prospect of working under the manager and Roy, who were both fantastic midfielders in their playing careers, made the decision to come to Villa an easy one," he said.

"I'm looking forward to working with them but also the other really good midfield players that the club have, like Fabian Delph, Ashley Westwood and other new lads like Kieran Richardson, Joe Cole and Carlos Sanchez.

"It's a team that plays the style of football that I like. They play with high energy, they pass and move and there are a lot of good young players. The manager told me the way that he'd like me to play and it all sat perfectly for me. I'm very happy to be coming down to play for Villa."

Villa, with seven points from their opening three Premier League games, next play away at Liverpool on Sept. 13.


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