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Thursday 29 September 2016

Jagielka hails Cleverley signing

Published 02/07/2015 | 16:41

New Everton midfelder Tom Cleverley has proved his critics wrong, says his new captain
New Everton midfelder Tom Cleverley has proved his critics wrong, says his new captain

Everton captain Phil Jagielka believes the often-maligned Tom Cleverley has proved his critics wrong.

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Just over a year ago almost 20,000 people signed an on-line petition - criticised at the time by both England manager Roy Hodgson and Toffees boss Roberto Martinez - demanding the then Manchester United midfielder was not selected for the World Cup.

Cleverley was not picked to go to Brazil, although not as a result of the campaign, and joined Aston Villa for the start of the new season after a move to Everton collapsed at the last minute.

The 24-year-old impressed for the midlanders as they escaped relegation and got to the FA Cup final, and having joined Everton on a free transfer this summer, Jagielka is looking forward to seeing the best of his international colleague.

"He's really excited to come here because it is a fresh start for him," he told evertontv.

"It was nice that he had the chance to go out on loan last season because things weren't going too well for him at Manchester United.

"He proved a lot of people wrong at Aston Villa - he obviously scored against us which I am sure he will take a little bit of stick for when he comes in.

"He's a really good addition. He's a great player - nice and tidy - and will fit into the manager's thoughts very well. He can play in a number of positions as well.

"He played in the positive and negative times at Manchester United and that's going to help him as a character and to blossom as a player.

"He played in an FA Cup final not too long ago and he's got quite a few England caps as well, so he has a lot of experience for a young man. It's something we can use to our advantage.

"He's a good player and, just as importantly, he's a good person."

Belgium youth international David Henen has become Everton's third signing of the summer, following Cleverley and Gerard Deulofeu, after turning last season's loan spell from Olympiacos into a permanent deal.

The 19-year-old was a regular for the under-21s and - after signing a three-year deal - is likely to be loaned out to gain first-team experience this season.

"Everton are a big club and I feel I can develop here," he told evertonfc.com.

"For a young player it is the best club because they try to develop youngsters. It is perfect for me."

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