Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Cleverley Return Can Help United To Title


The return from injury of Tom Cleverley will better any signing Manchester United's rivals pull off during the transfer window.

That's the view of Wigan boss Roberto Martinez, who helped turn the midfielder into a top class talent whilst he was on loan at the DW Stadium last term.

Cleverley, 22, has been out of action since damaging his ankle in October's win at Everton.

But he is due to return in the next couple of weeks to add a new dimension to a Reds team now level on points with Manchester City at the top of the table.

And Martinez is convinced seeing Cleverley back in a red shirt is the perfect boost for a United team struggling to cope with injuries.

He said: ``Tom will be refreshed and that could be the key for Manchester United.

``He’s going to be fully fit, and it’s going to be like having a new signing, the best signing that a team can do in January.

``The mentality that he’s got is quite unique. He’s a winner, and as a footballer we all see what he can do. He can make a big impact on that title race.''

Wigan have slumped into the bottom three this term and are clearly missing Cleverley and Charles N'Zogbia - who was sold to Aston Villa in the summer.

But Martinez refuses to use their departures as an excuse for his side's struggles and believes the new system he has adopted since their exit is finally starting to click.

The Latics may have lost 5-0 at Old Trafford but in their previous two games they held Chelsea and Liverpool to draws.

He added: ``We are a team that cannot afford to think about the players we miss, the ones we lost like Tom and Charles N’Zogbia. They had massive roles for us.

``In many ways you can’t replace these players, so you don’t try to do that. You change the way you play, you need to adjust it tactically, and probably now we’ve done that. We’ve moved on.

``Charlie and Tom will always have great memories of their time here and we’ll never forget what they did for the football club.

``But when you haven’t got the money you can’t replace like for like players. It’s impossible.

``We’ll never try to do that. We need to approach it a different way, and try to get important players in different roles.

``And I think we’ve achieved that now. We’ve got important players developing in those important roles.''

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