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Reports: Cleverley chooses Everton over Villa

by | 03/06/2015  Comments (116)  jump
Updated Tom Cleverley will join Everton on a free transfer from Manchester United within the next 10 days according to reports, although the Liverpool Echo caution that it's not yet a done deal.

The Mirror, The Times and an increasing number of other media sources claim that the 25-year-old has elected to link up again with Roberto Martinez, under whom he played on loan at Wigan Athletic five years ago, rather than stay at Aston Villa and will sign a five-year deal with the Blues.

Cleverley, whose contract at Old Trafford expires this summer, spent the season just gone on loan at Villa Park but is believed to have held out for a permanent deal to Goodison Park.

While the Echo report that talks are at at advanced stage, they suggest that nothing has been concluded yet.

Quotes sourced from The Mirror, The Times

Reader Comments (116)

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Ross Edwards
1 Posted 04/06/2015 at 00:10:35
ItÂ’s underwhelming in my view, I donÂ’t rate him personally, but if this was followed by a quality playmaker and winger coming in IÂ’ll accept it.

If this is our only signing or something, IÂ’ll be very disappointed.

Jamie Crowley
2 Posted 04/06/2015 at 00:18:08
Stan Collymore just tweeted good luck to Tom Cleverley at EFC about 45 mins ago....
Richard Murray
3 Posted 04/06/2015 at 00:26:34
IÂ’m happy with that! HeÂ’s a tidy player:

Ciaran Duff
4 Posted 04/06/2015 at 00:46:03
I think he is not a bad player. Certainly more attack-minded than Besic, McCarthy or Barry. I guess he would be an Osman replacement (BTW - I rate Osman) and at 25 is a good age.
IÂ’d be happy with this signing but with the caveats mentioned by Ross especially that we still need a quality play maker.
Jim Jennings
5 Posted 04/06/2015 at 01:03:15
Ross (31)

ThereÂ’s nearly three months to go before the transfer window closes. DonÂ’t let it ruin your summer just yet. We might, just might sign another player or two before then.

Trevor Peers
6 Posted 04/06/2015 at 01:04:18
I get the feeling Cleverley is the No 10 playmaker that Roberto has been telling us about. Time will tell.
Ant Dwyer
7 Posted 04/06/2015 at 01:50:13
Great bit of business for me. In 12 months time, Osman an Pienaar can stand down and we will have a 26-year-old Cleverley and a 22-year-old Ross Barkley. ThatÂ’s presuming we actually get Cleverley and donÂ’t sell Ross!

I don’t see him as an out-and-out Number 10 but – if we can get a speedster in to go with what we have – Cleverley definitely gives us an extra dimension.

Rick Cole
8 Posted 04/06/2015 at 02:03:22
I like him, and think on a free he is very good addition. I can see him doing a very similar job to what Pienaar used to do.
Jim Knightley
9 Posted 04/06/2015 at 02:17:21
He is a decent player, but will not improve our team and he lacks the creativity we need. Given MartinezÂ’s 2-3 transfer rhetoric, and our more pressing need for a creative mid, two centre-backs, a winger and a striker.

I can only see this move as blocking more essential areas of squad development. Pienaar held the ball up well, linked up brilliantly with Baines, and could control the tempo of our passing at his best.

Cleverley cannot play from the wide positions like Pienaar, nor does he have his passing ability. Putting him wide will be putting another square peg in a round hole. He should be considered as a CM, but this is not an area where we need additional players at the moment.

Mike Childs
10 Posted 04/06/2015 at 02:24:52
I am not impressed. Hopefully he proves me wrong.
Mike Childs
11 Posted 04/06/2015 at 02:28:50
Plus if we’re signing Tom this early in the silly season it doesnÂ’t say much about our ambition.
John Paul McGurk
14 Posted 04/06/2015 at 05:06:01
At least itÂ’s somewhat planned this year, compared the last yearÂ’s last-minute flung together mess.

Maybe skipping Austria might be a good thing. Moyes always did it and look how slow we were out of the blocks every year.

Sam Hoare
15 Posted 04/06/2015 at 07:32:18
HeÂ’s a decent player but he operates in a position we are already well stocked in and is not a significant improvement on what we have.

I donÂ’t see him as an Osman type. HeÂ’s not as creative and does not get as many goals or assists. HeÂ’s more of a McCarthy type with good energy and technique who rarely loses the ball, partly due to passing sideways more than forwards.

He is move towards possession football rather than the more direct style that saw an upturn in our results last season.

Joe Foster
16 Posted 04/06/2015 at 07:38:22
I am neither impressed or not impressed by this news.
Alexander O'Brien
17 Posted 04/06/2015 at 07:40:09
The doubters have already made their minds up even before the lad has kicked a ball. LetÂ’s see him in action first eh. Good signing and god how we need them!!
Paul Tran
18 Posted 04/06/2015 at 07:48:42
HeÂ’s an OK player, on a free. We need to replace at least eight players in the next couple of years. We are not rolling in transfer money to spend. He wants to come here. LetÂ’s judge him on what he does on the pitch rather than who he once played for.

I suspect weÂ’ll see plenty such signings in the next year or so, so letÂ’s get used to it.

Just one decent playmaker, Roberto. Please!

Jim Bennings
19 Posted 04/06/2015 at 08:13:11
ItÂ’s a start!

HeÂ’s a free agent so no transfer fee for a Premier League player with international experience is not to be sniffed at.

I know he wonÂ’t change the dynamic in how we play but in the face of players getting injured or losing form then having Cleverley can be handy

Harold Matthews
20 Posted 04/06/2015 at 07:41:16
Not a Pienaar or an Osman but has a good football brain and will definitely help organize things in the final third. Has exceptional movement and awareness. Should score more goals and will hopefully improve in that area during the coming months.

A young Man Utd trained footballer for free. No brainer. Martinez knows all about this lad and trusts him. So do I. Sherwood wanted to keep him but knew he was always coming to Everton. Needless to say, IÂ’m delighted.

John Pickles
21 Posted 04/06/2015 at 08:39:47
The news doesnÂ’t get me excited, but if he chooses to pull on the Royal Blue Jersey and gives his all in it, heÂ’ll get my full support.
Darren Bailey
23 Posted 04/06/2015 at 08:53:54
Come on Mike #53 & #54 - You may not be impressed but give the lad a chance. I rate him and so did Fergie and a few England managers. It was only when Moyes went to Man Utd that things went sour for him. He’s a quality England international on a free transfer – what’s there not to like about the deal?

What’s with saying "signing him this early... - it doesnÂ’t say much for our ambition"? We needed to move quick because other teams were interested and the player himself said he wanted his future sorted out quickly. If weÂ’d left it too late and heÂ’d signed for Villa then went on to be an important player for them next season, finishing above us and managed to resurrect his England career, the board would have been slated for not acting fast enough to get him in the first place.

For some people our board canÂ’t win either way!

Mark Wilson
24 Posted 04/06/2015 at 09:08:37
Horribly underwhelmed by this transfer. Those saying "heÂ’s not even signed officially and heÂ’s getting criticised before we even see him play" are missing the point. We HAVE seen him play, lots. For Man Utd and Villa. He isnÂ’t terrible but I just donÂ’t see how he significantly adds quality to the team?

He is on a free and that more than anything else is why heÂ’s on his way. As ever, we seem desperately short of transfer funds and if I hear the excuse of Lukaku for 㿈M one more time, I will scream! That bloody acquisition is going to be the reason we canÂ’t afford anyone for the next three years!

Okay, tbh I get that itÂ’s a squad addition but where he fits in is the question and I just donÂ’t see him as a big influence when we so badly need a CB, a real left winger who isnÂ’t operating out of position, and yes, Roberto, another striker as your protestations about how we donÂ’t need a further striker are crazy nonsense!

Everton, itÂ’s all just so Everton....

Thomas Surgenor
25 Posted 04/06/2015 at 09:15:56
Unimpressed... but we all knew this was a likely outcome 12 months ago.

However, I am happy that (if he has to come) we are getting him in early for a full preseason.

Maybe time for Pienaar to step down? I feel Ossie has another year left in him but Pienaar is done.

Trevor Peers
26 Posted 04/06/2015 at 09:18:25
Harold 83, The thing that worries me is that you have been delighted with Kone all season. Not an opinion shared by many on this site.
Thomas Surgenor
27 Posted 04/06/2015 at 09:22:40
ps: I havenÂ’t been this underwhelmed with a signing since we got Pip.

And he did a job for us.

Mat Smith
28 Posted 04/06/2015 at 09:22:39
It reminds me of when we signed Gibson – everyone moaning about what a poor singing he was. Yes, I know he has struggled with injuries but, when he does play, we really notice a difference and people soon changed their mind.

As long as we bring others in, I think itÂ’ll be a decent bit of busines.s

Ben Jones
29 Posted 04/06/2015 at 09:25:40
When he was at Wigan, and when he had that good spell at Watford, he played in the left? So yeah, I think heÂ’s an Osman and Pienaar replacement rather than Barry.

Even still, I think itÂ’s a solid signing, but one not to set the pulses racing. I think more people are underwhelmed because heÂ’s the first signing of the summer, simple as, and then there is that fear of "IS THAT IT???!!!!"

Versatility is an asset thought.

Cindy Cole
30 Posted 04/06/2015 at 09:28:21
TÂ’int right, tÂ’int fair, tÂ’int fit, and tÂ’int proper.

But if we could tempt Villa to take Barry back home and off the payroll it may be work out alright. As much as I like Barry he’s too slow and too old in football years – which are kind of like dog years.

Brian Harrison
31 Posted 04/06/2015 at 09:23:20
Well, the signing of Tom is incredible, he has great movement and great energy. He will be a phenomenal player over the coming years so to get an England international on a free is truly incredible.
Chris James
32 Posted 04/06/2015 at 08:14:54
I think this is good news in terms of an Osman replacement and squad replenishment but I agree we still need at least one winger and another central creative/attacking midfielder in the summer.
Harold Matthews
33 Posted 04/06/2015 at 09:26:17
Trevor. I have not been delighted with Kone. HeÂ’s far from perfect but he does many good things which are brushed aside and I attempt to bring them to the fore.

As for not falling in line with other members. Well neither does Roberto Martinez and he knows more about football than all of them put together.

Charlie Burnett
34 Posted 04/06/2015 at 09:46:31
Great bit of business, IÂ’d say; he looked shit hot for Villa towards the end of the season.
Sam Hoare
35 Posted 04/06/2015 at 09:59:07
People keep talking about as an Osman replacement. Really? For the last few years he has played mainly as a deeper lying midfielder rather than an intelligent, ’quick feet around the edge of the box’ type player which is what Ossie brings.

Surely he is more of a McCarthy type player? I wonder if J Mac is on his way out? Selling McCarthy for 㾼-20m and getting in Cleverley on a free would not be the worst business in the world, especially if that money was spent on a really top class No. 10......

Andrew Ellams
36 Posted 04/06/2015 at 10:06:00
Sam, if heÂ’s coming in to play deep then no thanks. We have four players that can do that role already and his wages would be better spent elsewhere.
Sam Hoare
37 Posted 04/06/2015 at 10:13:39
My thoughts entirely Andrew. IÂ’ve never seen him possess enough of the qualities to play a more advanced playmaker; vision, pace, immaculate touch, speed of thought, creativity, the ability to chip in with a few goals. That doesnÂ’t sound like him to me but maybe iÂ’m wrong; time will tell.

Would have much preferred Milner who is going across the park. That lad combines great work ethic with no small amount of creativity and will do well for them I think.

Danny Cleary
38 Posted 04/06/2015 at 10:13:15
I know the fans are seemingly not too excited by this possible signing of Cleverley but, on a free transfer, itÂ’s decent business. I remember people bleating on about Gibson being "shit" when we signed him but, injuries aside, most Evertonians rate him very highly. If Tom Cleverley does sign, he should be given the benefit of the doubt.
James Newcombe
39 Posted 04/06/2015 at 10:18:06
HeÂ’ll be fine as a squad player, we will need to replace the likes of Osman, Pienaar, Hibbert, and Distin sooner rather than later.
Andrew Ellams
40 Posted 04/06/2015 at 10:22:54
I would love Milner to sign for us but as he has allegedly turned down 𧵘k at City he is probably just out of our reach.
Sam Hoare
41 Posted 04/06/2015 at 10:25:51
Think heÂ’s taking a pay cut to get regular football at the RS Andrew. Always a good sign. Probably still on 𧴜-120k a week which is beyond us.
Anto Byrne
42 Posted 04/06/2015 at 10:20:22
Let the rebuilding begin!
Chris Williamson
43 Posted 04/06/2015 at 10:33:45
Welcome Tom. Clever move. Hope you blossom.
Sandra Bowen
44 Posted 04/06/2015 at 10:36:05
Good solid signing, as Harold says, heÂ’s always on the move and makes good runs. Something our side seriously lacks. HeÂ’s obviously not a hugely exciting player but sometimes they donÂ’t have to be.

Time to sack off Mirallas and McGeady. Raise a few funds, go all out to get in Nollito, Deuloufeu on loan, Van Djik and Lennon. Ings would also be very welcome. ThatÂ’s my personal wish list for what itÂ’s worth.

Patrick Murphy
45 Posted 04/06/2015 at 10:54:43
If Del Boy also arrives in the Summer, weÂ’ll have Tom and Gerry playing cat and mouse football, seems apt to me. Cleverley will be an OK addition and Martinez does have first-hand knowledge of his abilities... I suppose thatÂ’s a good thing, isnÂ’t it?
Harold Matthews
46 Posted 04/06/2015 at 10:56:44
Sandra. Cheers. May all your wishes come true.
Chris Sillett
47 Posted 04/06/2015 at 10:55:55
HeÂ’s a decent if unspectacular signing for free, my only concern is we are signing too many of the same type of midfielder, we will now have Barry, McCarthy, Besic, Gibson and now Cleverley who all perform the same role. I heard that he played on the left side of midfield under Martinez at Wigan so maybe weÂ’ll see him there but IÂ’d rather have a natural winger like Lennon in that position.
Harold Matthews
48 Posted 04/06/2015 at 11:06:07
Yes, signing Milner would have prevented him from kicking and fouling our players whenever we have to face him. Sounds like heÂ’s found his true home.
Denis Richardson
49 Posted 04/06/2015 at 11:02:24
On the face of it, this is actually a decent signing from the view of building out the squad and bringing the average age down. HeÂ’s not going to set the world alight but is tidy and we didnÂ’t have to pay a transfer fee – I am guessing heÂ’ll be on wages of around 㿔k/week (hopefully not more!).

With McCarthy, Besic, Barry, Gibson and Cleverley – we’re now over stocked in the CM dept. Gibson will be going into the last year of his contract and cannot be relied upon and Barry won’t be able to play every game as he turns 35 next season, so presume it’ll be McCarthy/Cleverley to start in the middle.

I’m not too unhappy with this as long as there are at least two more first team signings this summer – not back-up players. We desperately need some pace and creativity in midfield. After that the next position of importance depends on who stays/goes this summer.

One in, on a ’free’ and not yet July – better start than last time.

Chris Sillett
50 Posted 04/06/2015 at 11:14:55
Talking of free transfers, Yevhen Konoplyanka from Dnipro is still available, hes being linked with Stoke so surely we would be in with a chance of getting him. Only problem is he apparently wants 𧴜k a week!
Dominic Tonge
51 Posted 04/06/2015 at 11:07:59
Not thrilled, but as a squad player, he has a good grounding, has experienced Premier League football, is versatile, has worked with El Bob before, and has been highly regarded by Ferguson (whiskynose... not the one who ragged Paul once about on derby day) as well as the last couple of England gaffers, he has his best football years ahead of him (anyone who signs for Everton does though). I just hope we all give him a chance.

To be fair, some of my favourite (recent) Everton players were not the flashy skilled goalscoring headline-grabbing players, but players like Carsley, Parkinson, Stubbs, Arteta & Cahill who were under-the-radar signings who would put in a shift, graft first and then play the football after the battle was won.

Cleverley’s not the most dynamic player ever, but quite tidy and a saleable asset down the line acquired on a free. Like I say, I wasnÂ’t doing cartwheels when I found out, but welcome aboard, Tom; just give it your all, kid. If you do, we will get right behind you. COYB.

Clive Rogers
52 Posted 04/06/2015 at 11:45:34
This morning’s news is that he has dropped another clear hint, on Villa TV, that he will be going to Villa.
Phil Walling
53 Posted 04/06/2015 at 11:49:37
One good thing about this signing is that if heÂ’s not up to it we can always send him out on loan. After all, he has spent much of his less than inspiring career in that situation so will be well used to it!
Gareth Clark
54 Posted 04/06/2015 at 11:51:44
HeÂ’s an okay player, but hardly going to attract others to come to Everton!

And I donÂ’t think heÂ’s a Number 10 either, heÂ’s a box-to-box, hope it works out for him, good age and hasnÂ’t been given a real chance yet.

Colin Williams
55 Posted 04/06/2015 at 12:39:54
Very good signing. (IÂ’m happy with that)...
Rob Baker
56 Posted 04/06/2015 at 12:37:27
I am agnostic towards this news. He is young, an England international (for whatÂ’s that worth these days as IÂ’m due a call up soon) and FREE.

However, from the limited observations I have of him, he will offer us little creativity and will be in competition with Barry, Besic, McCarthy & Gibson for a CM spot. Maybe he is BarryÂ’s long-term replacement, in which case, IÂ’m cool with his signing.

James Marshall
57 Posted 04/06/2015 at 12:46:35
We havenÂ’t signed anyone yet. IÂ’m saying nowt till it’s a done deal. ItÂ’s all paper talk at the moment, innit.
Jim Hardin
58 Posted 04/06/2015 at 12:36:02
Adds depth to the squad where age and injuries may require more players to be available for the position. Not impressed when watching him but didnÂ’t see him do anything that was terrible either.

I just hope he doesnÂ’t talk about how being in his mid-twenties, that he wants to win trophies and play in the Champions League, or heaven help the poor boy on this site.

Dave Abrahams
59 Posted 04/06/2015 at 12:41:50
Hopefully he will be a good signing: good passer of the ball, got a football brain, versatile. I think he is similar to Kevin Richardson and Alan Harper although I would rate him better than those two (no disrespect to them) and I think he will justify his transfer to us.

This and three or four more signings, with that elusive No 10 and a centre-half amongst them.

Lee Preston
60 Posted 04/06/2015 at 13:03:16
"I watch Spanish football a lot" Cleverley says. "If they pass the ball sideways but keep possession, the fans clap them." That was an interview with the Mirror last year.

Just what we need, another player who can pass sideways. Totally underwhelmed!

Richard Reeves
61 Posted 04/06/2015 at 11:56:19
Obviously Roberto will have little to spend so heÂ’s bulking up the squad with decent players, so he can focus on other areas. The problem for me is that, although I think he is a decent player, he is not at the level we need to progress enough, either in the defensive midfield role, or more importantly the position behind the striker, or any other position in the middle of midfield, playing as a creative, attacking midfielder.

I also worry that, as a Martinez signing, the wages he’ll be on, and his profile, he could be another unmovable regular – which would be fine if he is good enough... but not if he isn’t – and if he prevents more talented players coming through.

I just hope he isnÂ’t signed to make up the numbers and be seen as a defensive midfielder because Ledson needs to be playing next season, while Besic and McCarthy should be first choice for that position. ThatÂ’s not even mentioning Barry, who will probably still be first choice, with McCarthy and Gibson in the background.

Still, this could be a good move and good business sense. It could be that Cleverley turns out to be a decent playmaker/attacker and offers good competition for Barkley, his value could go up, and we have another valuable asset on our hands ready to be sold when the next generation are ready to come through to replace him, or to use the funds to replace with a younger, better player.

If he signs, I will be underwhelmed but, of course, heÂ’ll have my support.

James Flynn
62 Posted 04/06/2015 at 13:29:00
Just out of curiosity, why is this "paper talk" being accepted as a done deal in here? Had to read thru down to James MarshallÂ’s post, to find even a hint of skepticism.

Unusual for ToffeeWeb Rumour Mill discussion.

Nick Page
63 Posted 04/06/2015 at 14:36:14
Expect him to finally sign around mid-August... to save on the wages, like.
Kane Green
65 Posted 04/06/2015 at 15:56:36
I might be wrong, but didnÂ’t Cleverley score more goals in the last few weeks of the season than any of our midfielders did all year?
Mark Tanton
66 Posted 04/06/2015 at 16:19:46
Ten days? In Everton currency that should take us to about 2019. Watch this... No, IÂ’d better not say that.
Dave Williams
67 Posted 04/06/2015 at 16:26:34
Jim (#19) and Harold (#20) have it spot on for me.

This has to be a total no-brainer. The lad has been brought up by SAF, has international experience, is only 25 and has shown strength of character in taking dreadful abuse on social media but fighting back to have a much better season at Villa.

To those saying we are well off in CM – Gibson sadly cannot string a run of games together, Pienaar seems injury prone, Osman, Barry and Pienaar are getting old, Ross has had an awful season... and this is a free transfer for heaven’s sake! Much better bet than a 29-year-old Milner and I just hope this is confirmed in due course.

Excellent business – we acquire a guy for free who we could sell on at easily ٣-8M the next day – what is wrong with that?

Mike Price
68 Posted 04/06/2015 at 16:42:24
Â’FreeÂ’ is a relative term. Signing on fee and salary over length of contract, get adjusted on the basis of no transfer fee.

Another small player after losing Distin and Alcaraz and we already had the shortest team in the league. ItÂ’s not everything, but we need balance and this team will get bullied by the likes of Stoke et al.

Mike Powell
69 Posted 04/06/2015 at 17:11:49
Good signing he is a decent player, he will be Ossie long term replacement. I watched the cup final although Villa were poor he stood out in there team. Get the deal done and get at least three more signings.
Brin Williams
70 Posted 04/06/2015 at 17:25:52
Harold, three posts (and counting) on one topic - thatÂ’s going a bit even for you mate.

Still always a pleasure to hear your (mostly) common sense remarks which I (mostly) always agree with.

Did anyone say creep???? FEA.

Lyndon Lloyd
71 Posted 04/06/2015 at 18:19:04
James F (62) Just out of curiosity, why is this "paper talk" being accepted as a done deal in here?

Transfer stories can be a bit of a balancing act but this one was more than paper talk. A lot of respected media sources have more or less said itÂ’s "a goer".

That, combined with the fact that itÂ’s had the feel of a done deal for a while now (based on local media coverage and our own insider info) this one was moved out of the Rumour Mill to the main news, although I see that the Echo have cautioned that it’s NOT done yet.

Nevertheless, a bloke tweeted us earlier that his mateÂ’s wife will be doing the blood work for CleverleyÂ’s medical tomorrow so must be true... bloke on Twitter told me. :)

James Marshall
72 Posted 04/06/2015 at 18:31:09
IÂ’m still going to take that blood work with a pinch of salt if itÂ’s all the same to you....

Like when Riquelme was seen at JL airport... ;-)

Mike Childs
73 Posted 04/06/2015 at 18:21:29
Maybe I spoke to soon. I certainly will cheer him on and hope my opinion was wrong again like the many other thousands or so times I was wrong.
James Marshall
74 Posted 04/06/2015 at 18:36:37
For what itÂ’s worth, I reckon heÂ’s a good player. Had a hard time when Moyes went to Man Utd, and wasnÂ’t the only one.

HeÂ’s the right age, no fee although of course thereÂ’s no such thing as a free player. HeÂ’s been well coached and has plenty to offer so I see no real downside. Plus we canÂ’t really attract top top players so yÂ’know...

Guy Hastings
75 Posted 04/06/2015 at 18:42:55
IÂ’ve erred on the Gawd-blimey-no side since it was first rumoured, BUT a work colleague, Salford-born and bred and OT season ticket holder for many a decade, reckons him. As he said this morning, "CleverleyÂ’s problem was that he was hyped as the new Paul Scholes" and even Paul Scholes wasnÂ’t really Paul Scholes for a season or three, in his opinion.

And this from a man whoÂ’s more critical of Man Utd than the average Koppite. I guess IÂ’ll reserve judgement.

Stephen Brown
76 Posted 04/06/2015 at 18:59:38
Dave Williams (#67)

You make some very good points! I was on the fence but youÂ’ve convinced me!

Charles Harland
77 Posted 04/06/2015 at 18:53:22
I am finding it difficult to understand all the doubters of Cleverley. The man is a workaholic and gives 100% every game. He is young and has experienced the Premier League for numerous years.

The best bit is heÂ’s for free and he wants to play for our team. Come on doubters, give RM the credit he deserves in (hopefully) getting his signature on the dotted line. COYB.

Aidy Dews
78 Posted 04/06/2015 at 19:22:08
LetÂ’s just give the lad a chance. HeÂ’s not everyoneÂ’s cup of tea but clearly Martinez rates him and thinks he can help the squad out.

WeÂ’re too quick to judge players from the outside and think there crap but letÂ’s give him the chance to show what he can do.

For free, I donÂ’t think itÂ’s that bad of a signing, if it happens like. HeÂ’s at a good age now where he needs to settle at a club and find his feet and form and hopefully thatÂ’s with us. HeÂ’s not a bad player, he works hard, full of energy, always shows for the ball and rarely wastes a pass either, although he isnÂ’t exactly adventurous with the ball but that may come out of him in time.

Ross Edwards
80 Posted 04/06/2015 at 19:42:07
Martinez once said that Lee Cattermole and Titus Bramble deserved to be considered for the 2010 England World Cup squad, so him rating a player is certainly not a useful barometer of a playerÂ’s ability.
Andy Crooks
81 Posted 04/06/2015 at 19:47:25
Aidy, IÂ’m happy we might sign Cleverley but it is despite the fact that Martinez rates him.
Martin Mason
82 Posted 04/06/2015 at 19:58:06
I think itÂ’s a good signing but I canÂ’t help but think itÂ’s just another player who wasnÂ’t good enough for Man Utd but is for us.
Phil Walling
83 Posted 04/06/2015 at 19:46:46
As someone said earlier there are few truly Â’free transfersÂ’. Players who run down their contracts usually expect the equivalent of a transfer fee to be spread over the term of their agreement with a new club. I suspect this is true of Barry and Cleverley and possibly Naismith too.

I mention this because too many people here are seeming to say Â’He might be crap but heÂ’s free, so what?Â’ Nothing could be further from the truth and he must be judged accordingly. Make no mistake, Claverley signing for Everton will make him a very rich young man.

Freebie, my arse!

Anthony Hawkins
84 Posted 04/06/2015 at 20:05:25
I find this an odd move as we have more than enough central midfielders. What we lack are wingers and a goal keeper.
James Marshall
85 Posted 04/06/2015 at 20:06:56

"I think it’s a good signing but I can’t help but think it’s just another player who wasn’t good enough for Man Utd are a much bigger, much more successful, much bigger name than Everton, so your comment is completely true. WeÂ’re not, and probably never will be as big as Man Utd. WeÂ’re a mid-sized club with grand ideas among the fanbase, but small ideas within the club (this is not news to you or me or anyone!).

We did sell them the big gangly carthorse Fellaini though, so yÂ’know ;)

Karl Jones
87 Posted 04/06/2015 at 20:06:23
Would be a terrible signing. What we donÂ’t need is another midfield player who runs around playing sideways passes and cant score goals. Imagine him and McCarthy in the same team!. Under Moyes it was the likes of Pienaar, Arteta, Fellaini and Cahill all exciting goalscoring and creative MFs.

Under this joke of a manager itÂ’s Barry, McCarthy, Besic, McGeady and now Cleverley. It’s no wonder this Everton side can’t score goals and is so dull to watch.

Kelvin Thomas
88 Posted 04/06/2015 at 20:03:12
Spot on ,Dave Williams.

CanÂ’t believe the comments stating that we are well covered in midfield. Barry has admitted that he played far too many games this season due to injuries. Gibson will be injured, McCarthy could break down again and Besic isn’t ready to be regular. Barry is the only one that we can rely on and heÂ’s 35!!!

Welcome aboard, Tom Cleverley. A good player, at a good age who will improve at Everton, and for free!

Brilliant first piece of business. Now go get a CB, LM and a RM.

Michael Neely
89 Posted 04/06/2015 at 20:07:22
Great signing! Saw a lot of this kid at Wigan, and from what I saw then and in his end of season for Villa weÂ’re getting a really good player.

He covers lots of ground has an eye for a pass and isnÂ’t afraid to put his foot in. We know that all players are "squad players" but this lad isnÂ’t coming to play second fiddle.

As for Everton making him rich, heÂ’s already rich. HeÂ’s been a Premier League player for five years, That makes him a millionaire.

Jackie Barry
90 Posted 04/06/2015 at 20:33:41
DonÂ’t remember him making lots of sideways passes when Villa played us. I do remember passes that split our defence wide open. Not my favorite choice but adding to our squad can only be good.
Stu Smith
91 Posted 04/06/2015 at 20:43:13
My Spanish work-mate says that reports over there are that Moyes is going to make a move for Barry??
Dave Abrahams
92 Posted 04/06/2015 at 21:05:11
Stu, donÂ’t think Barry would move to Spain, him and his wife are well settled in the North West, Barry is on a good screw with Everton for the next two years, his wife has a riding school here, the Spanish club wonÂ’t pay better wages than Everton are paying, itÂ’s quite possible your mate is wrong.
Paul Thompson
93 Posted 04/06/2015 at 21:07:45
A decent player. My only problem is that it seems like more of the same unless RM has a different role in mind for him or is selling one of his Â’competitorsÂ’.
James Marshall
95 Posted 04/06/2015 at 21:19:00
He’s a decent passer and keeps things simple – more mobile than Barry, and Sherwood had him getting forward a fair bit more than in the past. Perhaps Martinez will play him higher up the pitch. He can’t be any worse than Barkley was last season.
Richard Reeves
96 Posted 04/06/2015 at 20:24:46
Kelvin (#88), the only way we would need another defensive midfielder is if the manager moved on Gibson and Barry which to be honest would change the whole outlook for me and turn this possibility into a more positive one... but I donÂ’t think thatÂ’s likely.

WeÂ’ve got four established defensive midfielders already and a young lad who is good enough to make the breakthrough next season but, just in case we have the same amount of injuries as last season, weÂ’ll sign a sixth. ItÂ’s overly cautious considering the other positions that need strengthening.

Besic is going to improve so he will need more games; I donÂ’t expect McCarthy to be out with injury as much as last season, so he should get more games; Barry will still probably be first choice but wonÂ’t play as many games due to the fitness and progress of others; Gibson has a history of injuries but you would still expect him to figure a little; and finally thereÂ’s Ledson who I believe is ready to make the breakthrough next season if only to get a handful of Premier League games... but he is good enough and ready.

How many defensive midfielders does one team need?

Pete Edwards
97 Posted 04/06/2015 at 21:28:14
Phil I don’t think he ran his contract down, more he wasnÂ’t getting offered a new one at Man Utd.

Naismith is different too as his old club went bust so didnÂ’t effectively have a contract to run down

Not sure about Barry but my guess is that it was the same situation as Cleverley.

Dave Williams
98 Posted 04/06/2015 at 21:34:53
Phil #83 - all players have to be paid and you can either buy one or get him for free THEN pay him wages. To get a 25-year-old England international who was educated by the best around is good business.

OK he is no Alan Ball (who is or ever could be?) but we have to be realistic and acknowledge that we cannot afford the very best but this lad can get better and his value an only increase from free.

Mike Oates
99 Posted 04/06/2015 at 21:38:32
Nothing against Cleverley, think heÂ’s a decent midfielder but one who will do exactly same job as McCarthy and Besic. You still need Barry to do the defence tidying up until Besic has learnt how to do it properly , but in the meantime we will have McCarthy, Besic, Cleverley, Barkley, Naismith, Osman and a new No 10 ? all vying for 2 places.
Harold Matthews
100 Posted 04/06/2015 at 21:34:38
Cheers Brin. This makes it five. Definitely off to another thread.
Kevin Tully
101 Posted 04/06/2015 at 21:51:25
I am certain Martinez would love to have signed Milner on 𧵎k a week, but this is the market we are in. Free signings, or unwanted players like Lennon or Evans are the level we are at.

We have to hope the likes of Besic and Barkley can perform to expectations alongside a watertight defence, or we are in for another shitty season.

IÂ’ve said it before, the millions that even the smallest clubs will now receive means they can offer wages and terms similar to Everton. We used to have an advantage of being perceived as a fairly big club like Villa, but the Premier League is levelling out for the clubs like us. Swansea, Stoke and even Norwich will be paying the going rate, so forget about us having the divine right to expect players to come to us these days.

I think we should be congratulating Martinez on making signings such as this, he will have had plenty of offers from other clubs.

Pa Carty
102 Posted 04/06/2015 at 22:04:23
He could be an OK replacement if Barry was to leave. I am not over the moon if he was to sign, but may judge him on performances in an Everton jersey and not other teams.
Patrick Murphy
103 Posted 04/06/2015 at 22:06:55
James Marshall - Do you support Everton FC of do you just enjoy belittling the club?

I was fortunate enough to be able to get into St. LukeÂ’s and listen to the various speakers talking about Andy King and his love for Everton FC.

I really couldn’t care less whether we are able to compete with the other lot or any other club on the planet, because Everton FC are unique in the modern game – Soul, Soul, Soul – cannot be purchased and I’m so happy that I was born an Evertonian. Logic has nothing to do with football.

James Marshall
104 Posted 04/06/2015 at 22:43:15
Belittling the club? IÂ’m just being realistic about our place in the modern game, Patrick. Everton simply isnÂ’t as big a club as it used to be and thatÂ’s a fact.

I’m not for one minute belittling anyone, or anything – merely stating that we as a club cannot attract the top top players these days. Lots of reasons why, but none of them are belittling.

I couldn’t care less if we can’t compete at the top either – in fact, if you’d read many of my other posts, you’d know that I hate things like the Champions League for what it’s done to football as a whole, likewise the Premier League itself in a lot of ways. That said, I watch both of them because they’re entertaining.

They are though, to the detriment of clubs like ours, and the gap between the haves & the have nots is getting bigger by the day.

IÂ’ve been an Evertonian for about 34 of my 41 years as I recall, and not once have I belittled the club itself or any of itÂ’s supporters. I do find myself having what I feel is a wider view than quite a few people on here which often rubs people up the wrong way.

Dave Ganley
106 Posted 04/06/2015 at 22:54:45
Well, regardless of my opinion of Cleverly not being good enough, it appears that he is coming so will give him my full support, the same support I give every other Everton player. Putting my optimistic head on, Lee Carsley hardly filled me with joy either but look at how important he turned out.
John Daley
107 Posted 04/06/2015 at 22:52:55
"I do find myself having what I feel is a wider view than quite a few people on here which often rubs people up the wrong way"

I really did hope to avoid engaging with you for a while James (because I presume youÂ’ll just class it as a Â’personal attackÂ’ again), but have you ever stopped to think itÂ’s maybe the very making of a statement such as the one above that "rubs people the wrong way"?

In what way do you you have "a wider view than quite a few people on here"?

James Marshall
108 Posted 04/06/2015 at 23:07:20
Wider view – as in a bit more realistic as I explained above. Someone was upset that I’d said Man Utd were, and probably always will be bigger than Everton.

You know the Evertonians who wear blue-tinted specs all the time, and see us as having some sort of divine right to being the best – the whole Â’We are EvertonÂ’ camp. I find that a bit narrow minded, in today’s climate, John.

Bill Gall
109 Posted 04/06/2015 at 23:01:37
I think if Cleverley does come, it will be a "wait and see" attitude towards him. He has been around the top flight for most of his career and has looked good in some games and just ordinary in other games. He may be another player who a lot of people in the game say has potential (that is a term I do not like), that may surprise us or, then he may be no better than some of our younger players who deserve a call up to the first team squad.

The type of player that we should have got last season to bolster the squad in Europe.

Jay Harris
110 Posted 04/06/2015 at 23:12:34
Bobby Thomas
112 Posted 04/06/2015 at 23:42:34
Considering we arenÂ’t going to be signing too many players, we could be looking at going again with Osman & Pienaar as the only midfielders who can play all across mid and fill those wide midfield roles.

I’d count Barkley but he seems to have no concept of how to play one of those narrow midfield roles. It’s the main reason I don’t think heÂ’s at the level we all hoped. I don’t think his football brain is there. HeÂ’s got some tremendous qualities but he doesnÂ’t have enough. Off the ball, his football brain, positionally it isnÂ’t there.

Personally I would have no clue where you play him considering he is currently played as a non-goalscoring, no chance-creating, blocked-shot Number 10. Warnock said he didnÂ’t know what to do with him. Maybe a box-to-box or a kind of Lampard role at Chelsea would be best for him, to unlock what he does have. But the way Martinez likes to play and the systems he runs, I can only see more problems.

Anyway... we really could do with a player who can fill this type of midfield combination play role. Martinez has said heÂ’s after a 10, hopefully this fella can play right/left half as well.

Otherwise Pienaar had better have a great pre-season of fitness.

John Daley
113 Posted 05/06/2015 at 00:33:58
Okay James.

Obviously, everybody knows we are nowhere near the force we once were and (barring some miracle) weÂ’re unlikely to ever gain much ground on clubs who continued to grow and evolve while Everton stagnate.

Some just donÂ’t like to admit or arenÂ’t prepared to accept it, is all. Which is fair enough, in my opinion.

If we allow ourselves to be governed by logic alone and give in fully to the futility of most modern football, then we may as well just pack in following it altogether, because weÂ’d be doing nothing every Saturday but going through the motions, like zombies shuffling round a shopping mall.

Harold Matthews
114 Posted 05/06/2015 at 08:19:33
Sick as a pig. Oh I was fine till five minutes ago when I switched on to Sky Sports News and heard that Dik Advokaat would be handed 㿞M to buy quality players including Van Dijk.
Finn Taylor
115 Posted 05/06/2015 at 08:58:07
John Daley – "If we allow ourselves to be governed by logic alone and give in fully to the futility of most modern football then we may as well just pack in following it altogether, because we’d be doing nothing every Saturday but going through the motions, like zombies shuffling round a shopping mall."

That is exactly what it was like last season and I only see more if not worse to come.

Dave Williams
116 Posted 05/06/2015 at 08:56:05
I couldnÂ’t agree with you more, John. Despite all sense and logic, I still start every season thinking we are in with a shot at least of top 4 if not better and the day that stops (it has been that way for each of the 53 seasons I have been a fan) is the day I pack it all (life that is!) in.

I refuse to acknowledge that the RS can ever have a better team than us and believe 100% that we will produce a team of home-grown players who will do what Man Utd did in the nineties and blow everyone else away.
Step forward Ledson, Galloway, Stones, Kenny, Green, Walsh, Barkley(??), Henen, Long, etc – your time is coming!

Ross Edwards
117 Posted 05/06/2015 at 09:15:41
That 㿞m given to Advocaat according to reports is probably well over double what Roberto has got available.

And heÂ’s apparently after Van Dijk as well. I want us to go for him too. Although a very good player we have missed out on is Fabian Schar, who has joined Hoffenheim on a free. ThatÂ’s a very good signing for them.

Phil Walling
118 Posted 05/06/2015 at 09:21:48
Dave, thatÂ’s what Â’theyÂ’ gamble on. The fansÂ’ hope. That defies (denies) all logic as we move from season to season somehow believing change of fortune is round the corner.

It’s not just about money for players – it’s how the manager of the time handles/directs them. It’s about fostering team spirit and togetherness and a bit of killer instinct. Being ’nice’ to them (and us) is not a necessary ingredient.

Dave, youÂ’ve suffered the pain for almost the same time as I have but somehow kept the faith. And good on you. Mine is in the bin.

Dave Williams
119 Posted 05/06/2015 at 10:04:25
But it so nearly happened in RobertoÂ’s first season, Phil. We saw it against all the odds in 2004-05 when the team just werenÂ’t good enough to get through Villarreal.

A mate of mine works at Portsmouth FC and visiting him there is very sad because you see a proud old club which has suffered beyond measure and is desperately trying to drag itself back from the abyss (and succeeding albeit slowly).

The point here is they still get around 17,000 fans per home game all still hoping that they will get back to former glories and hope is what keeps us all going. We hope to see a marvelous goal or a wonderful piece of individual or collective skill, a fantastic flying save from a shot heading for the top corner and, most of all, for our team to win playing vibrant entertaining football.

I canÂ’t wait for the new season now!!

Try to keep the faith, Phil – we can’t afford to lose our loyal fans.

Dave Abrahams
120 Posted 05/06/2015 at 10:13:33
Patrick, John, Dave and others – Evertonians are great at kicking logic up the arse. I was outside St Luke’s waiting for Andy’s hearse to come and I said to a mate, "You went to Davie’s (Hickson) funeral, didn’t you?"

Another fella butted in: "I didnÂ’t, I didnÂ’t like him and our kid couldnÂ’t stand him."

I asked why and he said, "He signed for THEM, didnÂ’t he."

So I said "You didnÂ’t like Sheedy or Morrissey then?"

Yes of course," he replied, "but that was different, they came the other way"!!!!!!.

Logic, brilliant isnÂ’t it!!!!

Mike Allison
121 Posted 05/06/2015 at 10:28:08
If you want logic then youÂ’re looking in the wrong place. If football becomes about logic then I wonÂ’t be interested in it.

Football has to be about that hope, the dreams, the convincing yourself that it might just happen. And you know what? One day it will.

Dave Williams
122 Posted 05/06/2015 at 10:36:08
Priceless, Dave – really made me smile reading that!

But so true!

James Flynn
123 Posted 04/06/2015 at 19:47:40
Thanks Lyndon.
Alan Ross
124 Posted 05/06/2015 at 11:38:06
He’s having a medical now, according to Sky Sports.
Milos Milenkovic
125 Posted 05/06/2015 at 14:56:28
Can anyone tell me where is he going to play? Instead of whom?

I am shaking my head in disbelief that RM will again play with two or even three defensive midfielders with only one up front. We need creativity and signing of Cleverley will not improve us in that area.

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