When the season started, it was something of a surprise to see Tom Cleverley given the nod over players such as Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs and Ji-Sung Park. After all, the England Under-21 international spent last season on loan at Wigan where he made 25 Premier League appearances.
However, it is clear to see that Sir Alex Ferguson rates him highly and the 22-year-old has been handed a four-year contract this week which keeps the player at Old Trafford until 2015.
Cleverley has been on the sidelines in recent weeks after ligament damage to his foot, although there is a chance he will be involved against Liverpool this coming weekend.
“Tom is one of the brightest prospects in the English game,” said Ferguson.
“For a young boy, he has a good footballing brain which, when coupled with his energy and ability, makes for a player with a fine future ahead of him.
“It’s the United way to encourage our young players to make their mark in the first team and Tom has grabbed that chance with both hands.”
“It’s been a fantastic start to the season for me, breaking into the first team and getting an England call-up,” he said.
“Having grown up at the club, I’d love to be able to make a contribution to United winning more trophies.
“We have a squad with great ability and I can’t wait to get started again.”