Everton today announced the departure of midfielder Tom Cleverley from the club, confirming his move to Watford FC. He spent the second half of the just-ended season at the Hornets, and the two clubs made the loan move permanent with the transfer details not released.
The fee is believed to be in the region of £8m, a substantial profit for Everton given the player joined on a free transfer when his Manchester United contract expired at the end of the 2014-15 season. Cleverley made 42 appearances and scored twice, putting on seven assists for Everton but struggled to hold down a regular place in the side.
Speaking to evertonfc, here’s what Cleverley had to say to the Toffees as he left -
“When I look back on my career, to be able to say I’ve played for Everton as well as Aston Villa and Manchester United, historically three of the biggest clubs in English football, that’s something I’m massively proud of. Before I joined, I knew what a historic place Goodison was and about the great atmosphere it creates.
“I made a lot of good friends at Everton, the Chairman was great and I really have a lot of respect for both managers I worked under.
“But, like at Manchester United, I felt like I knew the time was right to move on.
“I spoke to the manager [Ronald Koeman] at the start of January and basically said I’m not the most patient of footballers and I felt like it was good for everyone for me to move on.
“Watford and a couple of other clubs were interested but I was really keen on the Watford move and thankfully it’s turned out well. I’m enjoying myself at Vicarage Road and hopefully I can kick on now.
“It seems a club that are on the rise, everyone from the owner down is very ambitious about the club improving and, for me personally, I’m competing on a Saturday again, I’m playing football again and, for a professional, that’s what it’s all about.
“But I just want to say thanks to everyone at Everton for giving me the chance to play for such a special team.
“Unfortunately it didn’t quite work out and I don’t think they saw the best of me but good luck to them in the future, I’ll always look out for the team’s results and hopefully they carry on improving.”
We bid Cleverley farewell with a video of what might be his best moment for the Blues, a winner with the last touch of the game, away at Newcastle.