West Ham United’s forgotten striker Ashley Fletcher could be on the move on a loan deal, after being linked to a possible move during last season’s January transfer window. The Sun is reporting that Leeds United, Wolverhampton, Reading FC, and Garry Monk’s Middlesbrough are all interested in bringing the former Manchester United youth star on loan after West Ham have locked up a shock move for Bayer Leverkusen Mexico international Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez.
Ashley Fletcher struggled to find the pitch last season at West Ham, with the East London club reportedly limiting his appearances to keep his tribunal fee down. Fletcher was not brought into the starting lineup even when the club was short of fit strikers, preferring loan bust Jonathan Calleri or using Andre Ayew and Michail Antonio out of position rather than rely on the young striker.
Fletcher had impressed the previous season on loan at fellow Yorkshire club Barnsley FC in their promotion campaign, and after he was released by parent club Manchester United, he had a host of clubs lined up to capture his signature. He played a bit part early in the season, and even scored at Old Trafford in the Hammers 4-1 defeat in the League Cup.
Fletcher was linked with a move to Leeds during the January transfer window, but a move failed to materialize with the Hammer reportedly not letting Fletcher go on loan with both Diafra Sakho and Andy Carroll having questionable fitness. Slaven Bilic even turned down a chance to sign Scott Hogan from Brentford in part because of Fletcher. And then he didn’t get a chance in the first team until the season was almost complete.
So with the signing of Chicharito, it appears that Ashley Fletcher will once again find it difficult to make the matchday squad, much less the starting XI for West Ham, so it’s best of him and the club for him to go out on loan. After the disagreements between Bilic and Reading’s manager Jaap Stam over the loan of Reece Oxford last season, it would be surprising to see Fletcher go on loan there. Wolverhampton had been active this summer, so seeing them linked isn’t a big surprise. Garry Monk tried to bring Fletcher to Leeds last season and could be interested in bringing him to his new club in Middlesbrough, but with Monk’s reliance on a single striker system and their big purchase of Nottingham Forest striker Britt Assombalonga, Fletcher might spend the year on the bench at Boro.
Leeds would be a good move for Fletcher, as Head Coach Thomas Christiansen isn’t committed to a single striker system, but time will tell if Leeds actually pulls this loan move off. We at TIAT think it’s a fantastic idea at least.