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West Ham struck gold with Ashley Fletcher

West Ham did extremely well to sell Ashley Fletcher for £6.5m in 2017 having signed him on a free transfer just a year prior.

The former Manchester United youngster joined the Hammers on a free transfer after impressing on loan with Barnsley the season before, scoring nine times as the Tykes were promoted from League One.

Fletcher signed a four-year deal with the Hammers but would make just 20 appearances in total, the majority of which came from the bench, with his only goal coming for the club in an EFL Cup defeat against his old side Manchester United.

Therefore, for West Ham to sell him to Middlesbrough for £6.5m the following season represents excellent business by GSB, especially when you consider his career since then.

Fletcher, who is now 27, enjoyed the best spell of his career on Teesside, hitting 28 goals and 11 assists in 108 appearances for the Championship side, which suggests that he perhaps never would have cut it in the Premier League.

This was emphasised further when Watford brought in the striker on a free transfer last season, only for the Englishman to feature in just 27 minutes of Premier League action for the Hornets.

Are you surprised by Fletcher's poor form?





He would score twice for his new side in the Carabao Cup, including one in a defeat against Stoke City in September 2021 but was afforded very few opportunities after that.

Incidentally, that was his last goal in competitive action, as he first endured a difficult loan spell with New York Red Bulls, failing to find the back of the net in seven appearances.

This summer saw Fletcher join Wigan Athletic on loan but he is struggling to find his feet once again, with no goals in any of his three appearances so far.

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Therefore, it seems clear that West Ham did very well to receive such an impressive fee for him, especially with Transfermarkt now valuing the striker at just £1.08m after his recent struggles.