Over the last few weeks there has been speculation over the future of Darren Fletcher, despite being named as the club’s vice-captain in the summer. Fletcher has struggled for first team appearances, with the majority of his appearances in the United’s first team coming from the bench and only being short cameo appearances at the end of games. I feel that Fletcher was named vice-captain by Van Gaal at the start of the season because he is one of the senior pro’s within the club and would still have an influence on some of the younger players even if he isn’t playing.
Fletcher turns 31 on Sunday, must recognise that first team opportunities at Old Trafford will be few and far between and needs to play games as he looks to get back to the player he was being he suffered the crippling ulcerative colitis illness that he suffered over the last few years.
In December 2011 Fletcher was forced to take an extended break from football due to the illness and didn’t return to first team action until September 2012. In January 2013 Fletcher underwent surgery to lessen the effects of the illness and missed the remainder of the 2012/13 season. He didn’t make his first appearance of the 2013/14 season until December 2013 and he made 19 appearances last season as he continued his recover from the illness. Before the illness Fletcher would have one of the first names on Sir Alex Ferguson’s team sheet, especially in big games both domestically and in Europe. Fletcher’s game was all about energy, he would get up and down the pitch for the full ninety minutes, getting in his opponents face. I feel this is something that Fletcher has lost due the illness. Which is understandable when you think he probably hasn’t played more than 40 games in the last 3 seasons due to the illness.
What next for Fletcher?
If it is true that the club are willing to grant Fletcher a free transfer to enable him to move and get the first team football he needs, I think this is the right decision. I’m sure he wished he could stay at United for the rest of his career but he himself will realise he isn’t going to be part of Louis Van Gaal’s long term plans and won’t want to be hanging around the club and not be contributing to any first team success. West Ham are favourites for Fletcher’s signature, while West Brom, Celtic and Spanish side Valencia are also rumoured to be interested. I think moving to any of these clubs will be good for Fletcher as he should get regular first team action. I hope to see Darren playing well for any of these clubs and have a good end to his career and regain his regular starting place in the Scottish national side. After all the bad luck that Fletcher has suffered with the illness he suffered, that is the least that Darren Fletcher deserves.
Please Feel Free To Add Any Comments You Have On This Article