Nicky Butt backs Tom Cleverley to succeed

Nicky Butt believes that Tom Cleverley has a bright future ahead of him, but feels he needs an injury-free season to become a Manchester United regular. BBC Sport reports.

Butt, who played 387 times for United and holds 39 England caps, feels the 23-year-old is at an age where playing regularly is more important than ever.

Cleverley has started all three of United matches so far this season, but a series of niggling injuries means that he has been restricted to just 12 starts in his Old Trafford career.

“He’s one of those players who can go on to great things but he needs a good run in the team and to get used to playing week in and week out for a massive club”, he told BBC Radio Manchester.

Since coming through the academy, Cleverley has had loan spells at Watford, Leicester and Wigan, although he is now edging towards the forefront of Sir Alex Ferguson’s plans and has three England caps behind him.

England manager, Roy Hodgson praised Cleverley’s performance in the 5-0 win over Moldova, but he was less convincing in the 1-1 draw with Ukraine- missing three golden opportunities to score.

But Butt believes Cleverley has the ability to shine at the top level: “He’s a phenomenal young footballer and he’s at the right club to develop, with the right manager, the right coaches and the right players around him.”