Midfielder Tom Cleverley has made quite an impression on loan at Watford FC, enough that the Hornets are looking to talk to parent club Everton regarding a permanent deal for the player, in the £8m range.
He has been a key component of Walter Mazzarri’s team, featuring in eight games so far, seven of which he started in. Cleverley has picked up two assists and three bookings in that time, including a key contribution in beating Arsenal in January, a game that precipitated the current slide the Gunners are in.
Cleverley was signed on a 5-year deal to Everton as a free agent, with then-manager Roberto Martinez completely enamored by the player’s displays.
“I think you do not have a better English player. Technically, he is as good as you get. The way he executes, how he reads the game, for me he is one of the most sensational you are going to see in Premier League history.
“I wouldn’t sell him for any money in the current market. I want to see him go from strength to strength because I know there is so much more to come.”
With the arrival of Ronald Koeman at Everton, the Englishman continued to be a part of the team especially earlier in the season when the injury-struck midfield corps were short on personnel. It’s no surprise though that Cleverley’s run in the starting XI coincided with Everton’s streak of one win in ten games.
Koeman stated quite clearly that Cleverley was not part of his future plans, and loaned him out in January.
Unconfirmed reports state that there is an ‘eight games started’ clause in Cleverley’s loan contract, which allows Watford to then start conversations for a permanent deal. With Mazzarri making the midfielder an essential part of his setup, this mark is almost moot and will be triggered the next time Cleverley steps onto the pitch for the Hornets, expected to be after the break against Sunderland on April 1st.
The reported amount of a permanent deal is expected to be £8m, with reports that the manager wants to confirm a purchase to lift the team out of their current slump that sees them sitting in 1th spot, with just two wins out of their last fourteen games.
For Everton, there is no looking back. The midfield corps have never looked better, and Muhamed Besic’s return to fitness is timely with Morgan Schneiderlin expected to miss some time.