Football

West Ham should steer clear of Darren Fletcher

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West Ham have been linked with a move for Manchester United vice-captain Darren Fletcher recently, but the club may be better served sticking with what they’ve got.

It is understood the Hammers have joined Valencia in the race to sign the Scottish midfielder, who has six months remaining on his United deal, and they are set to table a bid of around £1.5million.

BELOW PAR

The 30-year-old has started just three league games this season and Louis van Gaal is believed to be prepared to end the player’s 19-year association with Old Trafford.



Fletcher was highly thought of by Sir Alex Ferguson before his horrific illness that kept him out for almost two years, but he has not looked the same player since returning.

On the rare occasions he has featured for United this season he’s looked rusty, off the pace and sloppy in possession. While it could be argued he needs a consistent run of matches to find his form, he simply doesn’t look like he can keep up with the pace and intensity of the game.

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During United’s pre-season he was an ever-present and looked back to his best, however it would seem that was because of the slower, exhibition-like nature of those matches which allowed him more time on the ball.

STICK OR TWIST?

Allardyce has a lot of strength-in-depth but going into the business end of the season it could be wise to bolster the squad further, particularly in weaker areas. But centre-midfield is perhaps one of their strongest, with Alex Song, Cheikhou Kouyate, Mark Noble, Kevin Nolan and Diego Poyet all capable of playing there.

Kouyate is currently at the Africa Cup of Nations, while Noble and Song have had a few niggling injuries of late so it can be understood if Allardyce does have some concerns.

However, in Poyet they have a hungry, talented youngster who is raring to stake his claim for a place in the team. He has made just three Premier League appearances (one start) for the Hammers, but he demonstrated in a 2-1 defeat against Manchester United earlier in the season that he has tremendous potential.

COMPETITION

West Brom had a loan offer rejected by the Red Devils last week and could return with another bid for a permanent move.

Valencia are also very keen on the Scotland international and will be able to offer more cash and better wages than the Hammers which could scupper their chances of signing him, although in the long-run that may be a blessing in disguise.

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Topics:
Football
Darren Fletcher
Premier League
West Ham United
Manchester United
Transfer News

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