Farewell, sweet prince. The English Xavi. The English Iniesta. The English Kleberson but with even less guts and even less excuse for why he never bothered to improve and always looked for the easy pass, hid in games, and had a hugely overinflated sense of importance and ability, who had his own website and clothing range called TC23 despite being a bang average midfielder best suited to the Championship with his ridiculous hair.
It appears that Thomas William Cleverley, as he would be called if this were a Liverpool supporters' website or a broadsheet profile, is on his way to join Everton. Cleverley played his first professional game in the 2008/9 season for Leicester City, and eventually broke into the United first team in 2011/12. It's been a whirlwind of emotion, mainly contempt at his self-regard and pity for the fact that it wasn't his fault that David Moyes and Alex Ferguson kept picking him. We've picked out his five best moments.
1. Roy Keane threatening him
The Aston Villa squad is full of poorly regarded professionals. Gabriel Agbonlahor, Charles N'Zogbia, Joe Cole, Kieran Richardson, Philippe Senderos and Scott Sinclair are all talents who never got around to really doing much with it. But when Keane was assistant manager at Villa, he noticed that someone had been leaking the team news ahead of time. Now, team news had also been leaked at Manchester United under David Moyes, so we all know unsettling that can be. But someone was now doing it at Villa. Can you imagine that in Villa's ship of fools, it was believed that Cleverley was the most gutless and conniving player in that squad, and that led to Keane outside his house, waiting for a friendly and reasonable debate on the particulars of the matter?
Anyway, it turned out that Keane accepted that it definitely was not Cleverley leaking the team news, and it was all obviously a big misunderstanding. But thank you, Roy, and you, Thomas, for giving United fans what they've wanted for years - the image of you fearing an absolute Saipanning in training the next day.
2. The ridiculous puff piece from Ollie Holt after a mildly mocking blog was pulled from The Mirror
In December 2013, Bearded Genius wrote for the Mirror to gently mock Cleverley's belief that he was in fact a footballing genius, in a piece called, "Futuristic, misunderstood genius or average footballer?"
It was clearly a fairly straightforward and effective takedown of Cleverley's image, and was in no way gratuitous or offensive. You can read it, if you like, here. Except, you no longer can. For whatever reason, the Mirror have taken the piece down. It is impossible to work out why the piece was removed, but a couple of months later, up popped one of the most hilariously one-eyed appraisal of Cleverley's time at United, by Ollie Holt. It was staggeringly sympathetic to a man who had done nothing to deserve such a long career at United, lacking any acknowledgement that his utter cowardice on the pitch was not the same as performing incredible tiki-taka that would be adored abroad.
You can, of course, read that here, because clearly that hasn't been taken down (Callum Hamilton wrote the highlights up here, for this site). Read it and cringe. The highlight of the interview is this quote:
"My job goes under the radar at times. I am not a player who's going to beat three or four people and stick it in the top corner or go round tackling people like Roy Keane.
Leading people to wonder - so what do you actually do, then?
3. When he said he'd be Van Gaal's type of player and then got booted out to a relegation-battling side.
Cleverley is nothing but confident. Having watched Holland demolish Spain and reach third place in the World Cup, while Van Gaal managed talents like Arjen Robben, Memphis Depay and Robin van Persie, and matched it with hard-working and inspired squad players, to unexpected success, he remarked:
"I watched the manager's Holland team in the World Cup and from that I think I'm going to be his type of player."
Don't let your cluelessness hit you on the way out, Thomas!
4. When he went on loan to Aston Villa
Finally, United were free. If only there was a way to struggle on without his technical expertise at swapping passes with the central defence and full-backs. Somehow, with Angel Di Maria, Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini, Daley Blind and Juan Mata, he just couldn't force his way to the front of Van Gaal's consideration.
5. When he agreed to join Everton
Finally, we were free forever. To paraphrase Eric Cantona, "does a bird in a cage sing as sweetly as a bird who has just seen that Tom Cleverley will never wear a Manchester United kit again?"