Roy Hodgson and Steven Gerrard lavish praise on England midfielder Tom Cleverley
Last Updated: 09/09/12 1:18pm
Tom Cleverley: Impressed for England against Moldova in Friday's 5-0 victory
Roy Hodgson has likened Tom Cleverley to Cesc Fabregas, while England captain Steven Gerrard has also tipped the midfielder for a bright future.
Cleverley impressed in Friday's 5-0 victory over Moldova and Hodgson feels he could have a key role to play going forward in much the same way as Fabregas for Spain.
The former Arsenal man was Vicente del Bosque's major attacking force at times during Euro 2012, while also lending a hand further back when the need occasionally arose.
Hodgson feels Manchester United's Cleverley is a similar player, saying: "I suppose you could say Tom Cleverley is an attacking midfield player - but he's an attacking midfield player in the same way Cesc Fabregas is.
"He plays in that position for Manchester United.
"He is quite capable of coming back into a central midfield role and winning the ball when necessary.
"Also, he took a bit more responsibility for getting closer to Jermain Defoe and allowing Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard to get on the ball in deeper positions where they are comfortable."
Gerrard believes Cleverley will learn a lot from facing Moldova and will continue to go from strength to strength over the coming years.
The Three Lions skipper said: "Tom is going to be a good player. He is only a young boy. Games like that in Moldova will be fantastic experience for him.
"He is playing for one of the biggest clubs in Europe and he has broken into the England team so he has got a fantastic future.
"He keeps learning the game, keeps trying to improve, he is going to be a top player."
When asked if Cleverley could fill the role on Wayne Rooney's return, Gerrard said: "We will have to wait and see but he is doing a good job.
"He's played there twice now, against Italy and against Moldova, and he has done himself no harm at all.
"He can also play as a midfielder as well. It's important when you are young to play in a couple of different positions. It helps you get into starting elevens and he can do that."