Saturday 3 December 2016

Everton sign Cleverley

Published 05/06/2015 | 15:36

Tom Cleverley spent last season on loan with Aston Villa
Tom Cleverley spent last season on loan with Aston Villa

Everton have agreed a deal to sign out-of-contract Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley on a five-year-deal.

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The 25-year-old will be a free agent at the end of the month and the Toffees have moved quickly to secure his services.

Cleverley spent last season on loan at FA Cup finalists Aston Villa after a deadline-day move to Everton collapsed last summer.

He has previously worked with Everton manager Roberto Martinez during a season-long loan at Wigan in 2010-11 and the Spaniard is a known admirer of the England international.

"Everton have agreed a deal to sign Tom Cleverley when his contract expires at Manchester United on July 1," said a statement on evertonfc.com.

"The 25-year-old England midfield player will arrive on a five-year contract, becoming the first signing of the summer by manager Roberto Martinez."

The Everton manager believes they have signed a player who is entering the peak of his career.

"We are extremely delighted to be welcoming Tom to Everton and I can think of many reasons as to why our fans will enjoy Tom representing our football club," said Martinez.

"The most important one is that he is a perfect fit for what we are trying to build here as he has so much experience of playing in the Premier League and he still has his best years just ahead of him.

"At the age of 25 and a player who is representing his country, Tom has experienced winning trophies and having big roles in demanding teams.

"Having worked with him previously, I know the type of character he is and I know that, with the Everton fans' support, we will get a very special footballer joining our already exciting team.

"It says a lot also, when someone like Tom is available on a free transfer and he can pick his next club out of many options home and abroad, that he has chosen to play for our football club. That's the perfect start to his career here at Everton."

Martinez was keen to bolster his midfield and the capture of Cleverley at the second attempt will do that, although the Toffees boss is in the market primarily for a number 10 who can play behind the striker.

He also needs another centre-back after the departure of veteran Sylvain Distin following the expiration of his contract.

Youngster Brendon Galloway will provide back-up in that position after making his first-team breakthrough, although Martinez wants him and the 21-year-old Tyias Browning to go out on loan to gain valuable experience in the Championship and the target is for each to play around 20 matches - ideally in the first half of the season.

Press Association

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