Everton have developed a bad reputation for poor transfer business since the arrival of Farhad Moshiri at Goodison Park, so much so that is often overlooked whenever the club gets it right.
Indeed, the amount of money spent by the Toffees’ recruitment powers has rightly come under fire, with roughly £600m spent and little to show for it other than multiple relegation scraps, poor performances and financial strain.
However, there have been occasions when the club have made the right decision on a player’s future and earned a profit in the process, with Tom Cleverley the perfect example of a rare transfer masterclass from the Merseysiders.
The English midfielder joined the Toffees in 2015 when Roberto Martinez held the reins at Goodison Park, penning a five-year deal as a free agent after his contract at Manchester United expired.
Cleverley’s stint on Merseyside was far from a success despite costing Everton absolutely nothing to acquire, ultimately scoring two goals and registering seven assists in just 42 appearances and averaging a mere 67 minutes per game before he was sold for £8m to Watford just two years later.
It was Ronald Koeman’s arrival at Goodison Park which cost Cleverley opportunities to cement a place in the Everton team as Martinez was sacked just under 12 months after signing the Englishman, who was shipped off on loan to Watford six months ahead of his permanent move to Hertfordshire in 2017.
What happened to Tom Cleverley after Everton?
Now 33, Cleverley remains at Vicarage Road since his move six years ago, signing a new three-year contract in 2020 to extend his stay until at least this summer.
Over the past six years at his current club, the 5 foot 9 midfielder has tallied 181 appearances, 19 goals and 15 assists, but within a year at Watford he began suffering with consecutive long-term injury issues.
The former Man United flop has struggled with five separate injuries ruling him out for between 40 and 175 days, accumulating 602 days in total as he has faced more than 19 months out of action and missed 86 matches.
The former England international is now set to be out of contract at the end of the season, with Watford unable to take anything from the player’s departure after spending millions on him.
As a result, Everton had a very lucky escape by selling the midfielder when they did in 2017, as Cleverley’s poor injury record has left the recent years of his career in a state of inconsistency, and it can be said without doubt that Moshiri struck gold on selling him to the now-Championship club.