When West Ham signed Ashley Fletcher from Manchester United in the summer, it was thought that he could replicate the success in the Premier League that his former teammate Marcus Rashford has had with the Devils.
So far this season, however, while Fletcher has shown some good glimpses, he just hasn’t had anywhere near the same impact and is yet to score a Premier League goal for the East Londoners despite 7 appearances.
This is an area that West Ham are looking to improve. They have recently squashed talk of a loan move for Fletcher in the January window, such is their need in the forward line at the moment. The talk is that they will only let him move should they sign another forward. But with money to spend and Fletcher’s lack of goals, it is looking increasingly likely that the Hammers will dip into the transfer market.
This won’t be them writing Fletcher off, but more an admission that the young forward needs minutes and first-team football to continue his development that saw him successfully help Barnsley gain promotion to the Championship last season.
When he went on loan to Barnsley, they needed a boost to help them secure a play-off position, and then navigate their way through the play-offs themselves.
And Fletcher did that really well, scoring 9 goals in 27 appearances, including a goal in their play-off final win against Millwall.
One club linked with the youngster is Leeds United. The Yorkshire club currently sits in 6th place in the Championship and will be hoping for promotion this season.
One area that they really lack in is goals, with Striker Chris Wood the only player scoring goals for them at the moment.
It is believed that Garry Monk hopes he can convince West Ham that Fletcher’s development is best suited to playing in Championship for the rest of the year and helping them to secure a move to the Premier League.
He offers a different option to the battering ram of Chris Wood, with pace in abundance. He could play up front with him in the classic target man and pacey striker combination or as an alternative to Wood in games where they need a little bit more penetration in behind.
Just so long as he scores goals for Garry Monk’s men, he will prove a very useful acquisition.