by Richard Laverty

New Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has been quick to praise midfielder Tom Cleverley, who is currently on loan at the struggling club from Manchester United.

Despite playing an important role under Louis van Gaal in pre-season, including captaining the side against AS Roma, Cleverley was allowed to leave the club after starting the second game of the season against Sunderland.

The midfielder has been a regular for Villa this season but has struggled to impose himself on a side fighting against relegation and appears he is still trying to regain the confidence lost during his final season at Old Trafford.

Despite that, Sherwood has given Cleverley a confidence boost with plenty of praise ahead of Villa’s quarter-final FA Cup tie with West Brom on Saturday.

“I think he’s done very, very well. When you have been hailed as the next Paul Scholes it puts a lot of pressure on you doesn’t it? Tom Cleverley is a player in his own right, he’s only young. He’s got a big future ahead of him,” he said.

“I think he’s capable of scoring.I remember watching him for Watford when he scored about ten goals in a season on loan. You can either score or you can’t.

“He certainly can. I know Roy Hodgson used him as a No.10 at times. To do that you have to be able to score goals and he’s more than capable of doing that.”

Cleverley’s contract expires at Old Trafford at the end of the current campaign and it appears he won’t return to the club and there are no signs of a new contract being offered to him.

Sherwood also claimed players at United had praised Cleverley’s quality and it may be that a permanent move away may be good for the midfielder as he tries to turn his career around and become the player who emerged as a star at Old Trafford back in 2011.

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