Although there are obvious links with certain Premier League clubs from his playing days, Tom Cleverley says his hunt for loan players will cover the whole top-flight and not just one or two locations.

The Watford head coach played 79 times for Manchester United, made 42 appearances for Everton and spent a season on loan at Aston Villa.

But his network extends well beyond that, given former teammates, as well as players he knew from his time playing for England, are now managing, coaching and in a few cases still playing, all over the place.

“I have got links to all the big clubs in the country,” said Cleverley.

“I’ve been speaking to them and putting the feelers out, and working with Armand Kavaja whose Academy background gives him great knowledge of Under-21 and Under-18 football.

“I think it’s a market we can really tap into and use it well, and I think it’s very much a two-way street.

“I believe it would be very good for any young player in the country to come here, and be part of working with such a young and hungry coaching staff.

“We have a lot of self-belief in what we can do, and we believe we can improve any player.

“All of us on the coaching staff have a real passion for improving young players.

“If you look at someone like Omari Hutchinson at Ipswich this season and the way he progressed, we need to try and find our own versions.”

Watford Observer: Omari Hutchinson celebrates scoring for Ipswich this seasonOmari Hutchinson celebrates scoring for Ipswich this season (Image: PA)

Cleverley isn’t just looking at players in their late teens and early 20s though.

“We’ve put less thought into the age profile of the areas we’re looking at than the profile of the position itself,” he explained.

“I think the loans will probably be at the younger end of the scale, players who are really adaptable to our coaching that we can mould into the way we want to play.

“But if the right older players are available on loan – and we’re probably looking more at centre forwards – then we won’t turn a blind eye.”

Of course, Cleverley can tell any potential loan signings how a season at Watford helped him when he was 20.

When Man Utd offered him the opportunity to go out on loan, what was he looking for at that time as a young player?

“Style of play,” he replied. “I didn’t really think so much about where in the table the team might be, but more would their style of play suit me.

“That, and what achievements we’re trying to work for.

“And in those two areas I like to think we’re going to appeal to most of the young players out there.”

Would the links with Udinese be an obvious route for potential incoming loanees?

“Not necessarily,” said Cleverley.

“What really excites me is how well young British players from Premier League clubs have done this season “Looking at younger players from top-flight clubs in this country is the route I would prefer to go down.

“If we’re stuck and can’t find players in that category, then we know there are some top players over there who might be able to help us.”