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Not so Clever, but better late than never

Aston Villa have now announced the signing of Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley on a season-long loan, after the move was finally approved by the Premier League.

The club posted on their Twitter page: “Villa have signed midfielder Tom Cleverley from Man Utd on a season-long loan.”

Cleverley’s temporary switch comes despite the transfer window closing the night before (11pm), but the club proved that the correct files were submitted before the deadline.

The Red Devils academy graduate had looked set to join Everton either permanently or on loan on September 1st, but a deal was dismissed.

Midfielder Cleverley joins a whole host of players who left Old Trafford this summer, including the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Alexander Buttner, Shinji Kagawa and Danny Welbeck.

Cleverley, 25, was seemingly not a part of new United boss Louis van Gaal’s plans for this season, and the player was forced to train with reserves recently.

Villa have now added him to other new recruits with a wealth of Premier League experience this summer Philippe Senderos, Joe Cole, Kieran Richardson and Aly Cissokho. Paul Lambert’s men are now 3/1 chances to improve on their 15th-place finish last term, and end up in the top 10 for the first time since the 2010/11 campaign. They are 9/2 chances, meanwhile, for relegation.

The Villans it seemed had their eye on former wonderkid and ex-Real Madrid player Sergio Canales, but the current Real Sociedad attacking midfielder rejected a move.

Cleverley, although much-maligned during his senior career at United, does give Lambert’s side much-needed experience. He played 31 times in all competitions for the Red Devils last term, but featured rarely in the second half of the season under David Moyes.

Van Gaal certainly gave Cleverley a chance, even making him captain in a pre-season match, and played him for the full 90 minutes in the 1-1 draw in the league with Sunderland, which was his last game.