(Photo: Action Images via Reuters)
By Robert Haggis
Ashley Fletcher became Middlesbrough’s second signing from West Ham inside a week, as he signs a four-year deal with the Teeside club.
The £6.5million-rated 21-year-old flew in to Yorkshire from the Hammers’ training camp in Germany, and will join up with former teammate Darren Randolph, who signed for Boro in a £5million deal earlier this week.
Fletcher made his name in League One when playing with Barnsley, and was pivotal in securing the club’s return to the Championship, scoring eight goals in 27 appearnaces.
Having joined the Tykes on loan in January 2016, Fletcher became something of a Wembley specialist, scoring twice in two wins for Barnsley at the stadium, once in the Football League Trophy against Oxford United and once in the play-off final against Millwall.
After his successful loan spell in Yorkshire, Fletcher joined West Ham from Manchester United in 2016, turning down a new contract at Old Trafford in order to secure first team football. He made 20 appearances for the Hammers, 17 from the bench, and scored one goal, which was against his former employers in the EFL Cup.
Fletcher adds to the fire-power assembled at the Riverside over the last few weeks as new boss Garry Monk shapes his squad for the Championship season, as Boro look for an immediate return back to the Premier League.
He will be competing with club record signing Britt Assombalonga and ex-Toulouse man Martin Braithwaite for a starting position up front, with the Teeside club’s spending on strikers nearing the £30million mark in this transfer window.