Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck will not be loaned says Alex Ferguson

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The Independent Football

Sir Alex Ferguson has tipped Tom Cleverley to follow Danny Welbeck into the England squad and confirmed neither player will be leaving Manchester United on loan this season.

The duo both benefited from time away from Old Trafford last term.

Cleverley earned rave reviews from Wigan manager Roberto Martinez as he helped guide the Latics to safety on the final day of last season, whilst Welbeck's six goals in 26 Premier League appearances for Sunderland were enough to secure a first full cap in a March draw with Ghana.

Both have now linked up with the Red Devils on their pre-season tour of the United States, having been given extra time off following England's disappointing European Under-21 campaign.

And, though neither youngster is likely to get as much first-team action next season as they did last, Ferguson feels it would be counter-productive to let them leave.

"They won't go on loan again," the United boss confirmed to Press Association Sport.

"Going on loan only serves one purpose; keeping them happy by playing all the time.

"At their ages, it wouldn't do us any good because other clubs would be benefiting from what we could be benefiting from.

"Because of the experience they have had, keeping them now benefits us."

There have been suggestions Welbeck might be interesting Bolton.

It is easy to see why, given Ferguson must wrestle with a striking department even he accepts is overloaded given it also includes Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez, Michael Owen, Dimitar Berbatov, Federico Macheda and Mame Biram Diouf.

It is hard to see Diouf having much of an Old Trafford future but Ferguson has spoken warmly of all the rest, and Welbeck is no different.

"Welbeck is an England international now," said the Scot.

"He is an exceptional talent. And Cleverley will play for England too.

"He is an intelligent modern-day footballer. His movement and understanding of space is really good for a young player.

"We are happy both of them will stay with us."

It appears, therefore, that Ferguson will have to deal with disgruntled players every week, although as he approaches 25 years in the Old Trafford hot-seat, it is not something that fazes him.

"To operate next season with 26 or 27 players is not a handicap to me," he stressed. "It is an advantage.

"Yes, players will be disappointed they are not playing some weeks. But at the end of the day, it will help.

"By the time we get to the end of May next season, we will have done well."

Ferguson always has a plan. And by the end of each season, there are few players who really have a cause to grumble about how many minutes they have been involved for.

It is a point he stressed to £17million new boy Phil Jones, who, during negotiations about his move from Blackburn, questioned exactly how much he would be involved.

"The area we had to work hardest with Phil was to convince him he would get enough football," said Ferguson.

"The first thing you can say is last season Nani played the most games for us, with 48. He was still 11 short of the maximum.

"No-one at United is going to play the maximum number of games. Rio Ferdinand only played 29 and Nemanja Vidic missed some as well."

Ferguson also had a couple of direct examples with which to prove his point.

Twelve months ago, Chris Smalling arrived from Fulham expecting to be eased very gradually into the Old Trafford scene. He eventually made 33 appearances.

In the two seasons prior to that, Jonny Evans racked up 60.

"The other thing I explained to him was that we are always trying to look ahead towards the team of the future rather than the team of the present," said Ferguson.

"We expect the team of the present to fulfil their responsibilities but the team of the future is the one that is growing whilst the other one is doing the business."

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