Ashley Fletcher, the young West Ham United striker, has been rumored to be a target for Huddersfield Town. Leeds United were interested in bringing the young former Manchester United player to Elland Road on a loan deal last January, but a deal fell through as the Hammers failed to secure a deal for another striker. It was also rumored that West Ham wanted to limit Fletcher’s first team appearances in order to reduce the price they would have to pay in a tribunal.
With Chris Wood not available for Huddersfield, it seems that Huddersfield is turning to try and complete a permanent deal for Fletcher. Leeds needs to hijack that deal and grab Fletcher for United. Fletcher tore up League One at Barnsley, and we at Through It All Together have advocated that Leeds should sign him.
NEWS: Huddersfield are set to make a £5m bid for West Ham forward Ashley Fletcher after failing to land Leeds Utd's Chris Wood pic.twitter.com/op4BB9UIdP— Hammers Updates (@Hammers_Update) June 19, 2017
Fletcher never got a fair chance at West Ham last season, but his ability is not in question. He needs first-team football to blossom as a player, and there is no guarantee that he will get it at Huddersfield, much less at West Ham. Huddersfield just got promoted and looks to struggle unless it gets an injection of talent. With Fletcher barely finding the pitch even when West Ham was literally playing midfielders up front as forwards, there is no guarantee that if Huddersfield struggles that Fletcher will find any more playing time. Relegation threatened teams aren’t known for playing attacking football, and Huddersfield actually had a negative goal difference last season in the Championship. Playing forward for Huddersfield might end up being a soul-crushing, confidence destroying time, and no place for a young striker to go.
With West Ham’s board tweeting its reluctance to play teenage and younger players, Fletcher needs to go out on loan. Huddersfield is rumored to be willing to sanction a permanent deal for the young striker, but West Ham would surely be reluctant to let him go permanently given that they just signed the player last summer and settled a tribunal last spring over his transfer, even for a small profit. Leeds would be a great option, with a new manager who isn’t married to a formation featuring a lone striker up front, Fletcher might be able to pair with Chris Wood to form a solid striking partnership that could fire Leeds into the Premier League.