‘I wasn’t too sure’: 33-year-old Premier League winner says he snubbed a permanent move to Aston Villa
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‘I wasn’t too sure’: 33-year-old Premier League winner says he snubbed a permanent move to Aston Villa

Speaking on The Official Manchester United Podcast, former United midfielder Tom Cleverley has been discussing how he almost joined Aston Villa on a permanent basis.

The 33-year-old is currently at Watford, having joined from Everton in 2017, but the ex-England international says he could well have ended up joining Aston Villa permanently at one point.

Indeed, as many will remember, Cleverly spent a year on loan at Villa during the 2014/15 season, but according to the man himself, this was initially meant to be a permanent move, but Cleverley snubbed the switch, stating that he wasn’t sure about the idea of joining the Villans at the time.

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Cleverley snubbed Villa

The Premier League winner discussed his exit from Manchester United.

“Long story short I had worked with Roberto Martinez before and I wanted to go to Everton. I think there had been some bad blood between the two clubs. Ed Woodward said to me ‘you’re going to Aston Villa on a permanent’ and I said that I wasn’t too sure about it, and I’d go there on loan. Welbeck was going to Arsenal at the same time, Falcao was at the training ground coming in, and I left Carrington thinking it was the last time,” Cleverley said.

Right decision

Cleverley may have enjoyed a good loan spell at Villa where he reached an FA Cup final under Tim Sherwood, but snubbing a permanent move to Villa Park at that time was absolutely the right call.

The Villans were, with all due respect, an absolute mess in the mid-2010s, and steering clear of that whole situation was a smart move for Cleverley.

The Randy Lerner ownership, relegation to the Championship and countless managers, Villa were in a real pickle at that point in time.

Meanwhile, Everton were making serious European pushes under Martinez, and, in the end, the move to Goodison Park proved to be fruitful for Cleverley.

While turning down Aston Villa is never easy, Cleverley made the right call at that point in time.

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