Watford sign Everton midfielder Tom Cleverley on a permanent deal for £8m

Rhod Cannon
Tom Cleverley

Watford have signed Everton's Tom Cleverley for a fee of £8m (€9.4m) after they exercised the option in their loan agreement with the Toffees to acquire the midfielder on a permanent deal. Cleverley has impressed in the Watford engine room since joining in the January transfer window and signalled his intention to stay at the Hornets earlier this month.

The former Manchester United starlet joined Everton on a free transfer in the summer of 2015, but after an underwhelming first season he quickly fell out of favour under incoming manager Ronald Koeman.

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Cleverley fell down the pecking order at Goodison Park and the emergence of teenage wonderkid Tom Davies, combined with the £24m arrival of Morgan Schneiderlin from Manchester United, essentially put paid to his chances of regular game-time under Koeman, who afforded him just four starts during the opening half of the season.

His fortunes have changed drastically under Walter Mazzarri; the 27-year-old has started seven times for Watford and has created 13 chances in those appearances, more than any other player during that time at Vicarage Road.

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Cleverley, who enjoyed a successful loan spell at Watford during the 2009-10 season, has agreed a five-year deal with the club and the transfer will officially go through on 1 July. The one-time England international expressed his happiness at joining Mazzarri's side permanently and believes he has found a home in Hertfordshire.

"I'm delighted," Cleverley told Watford's official website. "I think I made it clear I had feelings for the club when I came down here on loan and it was always the view to sign a permanent deal, so I'm over the moon. I felt part of the club from day one of the loan but now I really feel this is home and hopefully it is for a very long time."

Everton are set to spend heavily this summer, with majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri eager to give Koeman the tools to elevate the Blues to the top table of the Premier League. With the burgeoning financial muscle provided by Moshiri Everton do not necessarily need the money that Cleverley's sale will bring, but the fee will certainly be a welcome boost to the club's warchest ahead of a very busy window at Goodison Park.

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