He had impressed for United in pre-season and was not initially expected to be sent out on loan by manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
However, after failing to be involved in United's opening three games, the England Under-21 international felt a loan move was the best route forward.
"This was the right next step for me," Cleverley told the Manchester Evening News.
"Sir Alex Ferguson had said he wanted to keep me, but looking at the size of United's squad and the quality of the midfielders, I worried I might not get many chances.
"I went to see the manager last week and had a chat and we both came to the agreement that it would be best to go out on loan.
"Wigan suits me down to the ground. I don't know the manager Roberto Martinez, but I've heard good things about him. I know he likes to play football and you can see that the way Wigan play.
"I would have loved to have stayed at United, but I had to be realistic. This is the best approach."