England v Netherlands

Cleverley called into England squad

August 8, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff and Harry Harris

Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley has been drafted into the England squad to face Netherlands.

Tom Cleverley
GettyImagesTom Cleverley is back at Man Utd this season

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Cleverley, 21, put in a fine attacking performance against Manchester City in the Community Shield on Sunday bringing comparisons with the now-retired Paul Scholes and, with news that Jack Wilshere and Michael Carrick have been withdrawn from the squad to face Holland at Wembley on Wednesday, has been given a chance to shine.

An England insider told ESPNsoccernet: ''Fabio has been impressed with this player for a while, but has seen him played on the wing. He was very impressed when he saw him in central midfield at Wembley against Manchester City."

Wilshere's ankle injury has been described as "not a big problem", but it is too much to keep him with the England party, as ESPNsoccernet was told "we don't wish to jeopordise the player with the new season approaching".

The same goes for Carrick whose Achilles injury is described as worse than it was on Sunday, while Frank Lampard is also running a high temperature with a touch of flu and will be assessed on Tuesday whether he too will be forced to withdrawn.

Cleverley spent last season on loan at Wigan Athletic, making 25 Premier League appearances, scoring three goals and providing two assists. Now back at United, he is expected to be part of Sir Alex Ferguson's plans.

An integral member of the England Under-21 side at the European Championships in Denmark in June, Cleverley could now make the step up into the senior side despite never having made a competitive appearance for United.

And Ashley Young has backed his new Manchester United team-mate to grasp his England opportunity with both hands.

''Tom is worthy of his place in the squad,'' said Young. ''I actually thought he might have been in it earlier. It is a massive achievement but I have worked with him for a few weeks now.

''He did really well on tour and his performance yesterday, for such a youngster, was excellent. He is a confident person and controlled the game.''