Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley is keen to make a big impression at Old Trafford this season following another positive start to a campaign.
It was around this time last year when Cleverley, in impressive form for the Reds and knocking on the door of the England set-up, suffered injuries at Bolton and then Everton that effectively ruined the rest of his season. Indeed, the talented young midfielder, a product of United’s Academy programme, made just eight appearances between the end of October and the middle of May.
This season, Cleverley has again started with a bang. A key member of Team GB’s quest for Olympic glory in the summer, the 23-year-old then started United’s first three fixtures, impressing on each outing. His much-anticipated international call-up has come, too. He won his first England cap in a friendly against Italy in August and then kept his place for the Three Lions’ subsequent World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine.
Finally, all the pieces seem to have fallen into place. But given Tom’s rotten luck last year, surely there’s a part of him that’s just waiting for something to go wrong?
“Not at all. That’s not how I think,” he told ManUtd.com. “I’m a positive thinker.
“My season started with the Olympics, which was a great experience. Unfortunately we didn’t get a medal but it was good for me to play those games and I was pleased with my form there.
“I managed to carry that form into the season with United and hopefully I’ve impressed the manager as well. I've also picked up three international caps, so it’s been a great start.
“Things have been going really well but I just want them to get even better. I want to keep playing, keep winning and hopefully start scoring.”
Of course, goals shouldn’t be the benchmark by which Cleverley, who’s yet to find the back of the net for the Reds at senior level, should be judged. Particularly not this season when the arrival of playmaker Shinji Kagawa has prompted Tom to curb some of his attacking instincts.