‘Man United’s Tom Cleverley should try to emulate Darren Fletcher’

Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker believes under-fire Tom Cleverley should be inspired by Darren Fletcher

tom cleverley
Tom Cleverley won his first Premier League title last term Photo: Adidas

Tom Cleverley should try to emulate Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher, according to former Red Devils defender Paul Parker.

The 24-year-old Red Devils youth product has, in his own words, been made a “scapegoat” for United’s struggles this season, with the defending champions 16 points adrift of Premier League leaders Chelsea.

In terms of a role model for Cleverley, look at Darren Fletcher

Paul Parker

However, Parker points out that Fletcher struggled to win over the United supporters in the initial years of his career at Old Trafford before developing into a firm favourite due to his never-say-die attitude.

Although the ex-United right-back feels Cleverley has “lost the path” at the 20-time English champions, Parker reckons that the England international has been a victim of United’s poor form.

“In terms of a role model for Cleverley, look at Darren Fletcher,” Parker said in his Yahoo column.

“When he first came into the team, everyone was questioning his ability and asking what it was that he actually did.

“They said he was Fergie’s son. But he got through it by sheer force of character and on the basis of his performances, and that changed people’s opinions of him.”

Parker added that United legend Ryan Giggs would have struggled if the former Wales international had started his Red Devils career in the current side.

“He has had to dig in and run around and make tackles while United struggle, and that isn’t his natural game; he has lost his path just as Manchester United have done the same,” Parker said.

“At the moment they are playing without a system and look like a team in the bottom half of the table.

“It’s the worst situation to bring in a younger player; if you’d have brought Ryan Giggs into this team as a youngster he would have struggled. The experienced players are too worried about their own games to help out players like Cleverley.”

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