Michael Regan/Getty Images
|League Only (2012-13) ||Paul Scholes ||Tom Cleverley
|Pass Completion % ||92.3 ||89.7
|Passes Per Game ||63.1 ||63.8
|Long Pass % ||84.5 ||66.7
|Long Passes Per Game ||10.1 ||2.8
|Tackles Per Game ||1.6 ||3.4
|Tackles Per Foul ||1.2 ||8.5
|Interceptions Per Game ||0.4 ||0.6
Tom Cleverley is not Paul Scholes' heir because they're different players.
Cleverley is quite methodical and efficient when tackling. Scholes is one of the worst tacklers to ever grace the Premier League—mainly because he can't control his impulses.
Ironically, when in possession, Scholes is cerebral and calculated. He regularly finds his teammates with accurate diagonal long passes.
Against Chelsea, Cleverley was flustered by the Blues' pressing, which is why he gave away 24 percent of his passes. He was even worse when Athletic Bilbao played the Red Devils off the field in last season's UEFA Europa League second leg.
The Telegraph's Mark Ogden compiled quotes from the game's greats commenting on Scholes' genius:
Sir Bobby Charlton (Manchester United icon): Many great players have worn the shirt of Manchester United. Players I worshipped, then lost with my youth in Munich.
Players like Denis Law and George Best who I enjoyed so much as teammates and now, finally, players I have watched closely in the Alex Ferguson era.
And in so many ways, Scholes is my favourite.
Zinedine Zidane (FIFA World Cup winner): My toughest opponent? Scholes of Manchester. He is the complete midfielder. Scholes is undoubtedly the greatest midfielder of his generation.
Xavi (FIFA World Cup winner): Paul Scholes is a role model. For me—and I really mean this—he's the best central midfielder I've seen in the last 15, 20 years. I've spoken to Xabi Alonso about him. He's spectacular, he has it all: the last pass, goals, he's strong, he doesn't lose the ball, vision. If he'd been Spanish he might have been rated more highly. Players love him.
Socrates (member of Tele Santana's majestic 1982 FIFA World Cup squad): Good enough to play for Brazil. I love to watch Scholes, to see him pass, the boy with the red hair and the red shirt.
Scholes has mastered the art of receiving and distributing passes when being pressured by multiple players. Cleverley hasn't and unless he drastically improves, he will never touch Scholes from a passing perspective.
Yes, Cleverley has a high pass completion percentage, but he only averages 2.8 long passes per game. Last season, he averaged 1.3 and the season before, 0.6.
The red flag is he struggles against technical teams, who play short and snappy passing combined with sharp movement.
If you watch the 3-2 win over Chelsea and the 2-1 loss to Bilbao, one thing you notice about Cleverley is that he gets caught out of position quite frequently.
Against Bilbao, Ander Herrera, Oscar de Marcos and Iker Muniain ran rings around Cleverley. In the game against Chelsea, the one play that summed up Cleverley's night was him being caught up-field as Ramires accelerated into United's defensive third.
It forced Michael Carrick into an ill-advised tackle, leading to a David Luiz free kick, which forced David de Gea into a save.
Cleverley offers Sir Alex Ferguson an all-round game. The 23-year-old has yet to play a full season with United, so until he does, you have to give him time.
So far, the positives outweigh the negatives.
Comment below with your thoughts on Cleverley's future with United.
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Statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com
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