Tom Cleverley did a round of press interviews today as he prepares to make his Villa debut this weekend when Lambert’s third place team travel to Anfield, but it was quotes from Everton boss Roberto Martinez, who lost out on signing Cleverley this summer, that were perhaps more interesting when it came to explaining the transfer deadline loan shenanigans.
The chain of events is Cleverley was meant to be signing for Villa in a £7.5 million deal permanent deal, that broke down and suddenly Cleverley was then on his way (literally) to sort out a loan deal with Everton, but that also fell through, leaving Cleverley in limbo until he put in a call to Paul Lambert and thrashed out a late loan compromise.
“It’s the parent club that makes that decision,” Everton boss Roberto Martinez said in his presser, that was quoted in the Guardian. “Maybe they just didn’t want to send a player on loan to a club that is going to be challenging for things and finished above them last season, I don’t know.
“You can look at the table from last season and we finished fifth and they finished a bit lower, so from that respect you can understand.”
[quote_center]”I think Tom is going to be one of the best midfielders in the England camp” – Roberto Martinez[/quote_center]
As it stands though, with Villa in third place, while United and Everton languish in what will become relegation battle places later in the season, his reasoning doesn’t quite stand-up when looking at the table now.
Of course, it’s early days in terms of the table, but credit to Martinez, as he acknowledged that Villa look to be on the up this season and considers Lambert’s men as a potential force.
“Aston Villa have started the season really well and you look at the performances of Fabian Delph and the young players they have, plus they’ve got Christian Benteke coming back, and they are going to be a strong team,” he said.
“But we can’t comment on that, it is down to Manchester United,” he added of the loan situation.
Having managed Cleverley during his loan spell at Wigan, Martinez certainly remains a big fan of Villa’s newest midfielder.
“I will always be interested in Tom in terms of the experiences I had with him. I think Tom is going to be one of the best midfielders in the England camp.”
Villa have an option to sign Cleverley on a permanent deal in January. If that breaks down, Cleverley is likely to play out the season at Villa, unless United recall him, then Everton would probably be the favourite at the end of the season to snatch him as a free agent.
Martinez though refused to be drawn on the future.
“10 months in football is an eternity. Anything could happen in that time.”