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DONE DEAL: Ashley Fletcher Moves to Middlesbrough for £6.5 million

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The promising striker leaves West Ham United after one season

Middlesbrough v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Brace the Hammer favourite, Ashley Fletcher’s West Ham United journey is over after one season. He leaves the club for £6.5 million and heads up to Teesside to join Garry Monk’s Middlesbrough side.

Fletcher, 21 left West Ham’s pre-season training camp in Germany to begin talks with the Championship side.

Slaven Bilic told a press conference on Thursday:

“We got a fantastic offer for Ashley and ideally I wanted to help him with a different kind of scenario, but at the end of the day the offer was so good for the Club and for him personally.

I spoke to him on Wednesday night and I told him to be proud of the step that he made since coming to West Ham last year to being a player that a lot of clubs from the Championship are asking for.

To make such a big step is a big bonus for him and a big thing for him. He’s very young, very promising, a great lad and a great trainer, so he can improve a lot.”

West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The Manchester United youth product only managed to score one goal during his time in claret and blue. However, his tenacity and work-ethic endeared Fletcher to Hammers fans, many felt that he would grow in confidence in a second season at London Stadium.

Middlesbrough will be keen to strengthen their attack after conceding a league-worst 27 Premier League goals in the 2016/17 campaign. Their current strike force consists of Patrick Bamford and Rudy Gestede. Gestede is so bad that he once went 43 games without a win in the top-flight. Boro need goals badly.

Fletcher joined West Ham last summer after his Manchester United contract expired, he spent six years coming up through the youth system. He left the Red Devils without making a single first team appearance. Fittingly, Fletcher’s solitary West Ham goal came at Old Trafford during a 4-1 defeat in the EFL Cup Quarter Final.

Manchester United v West Ham United - EFL Cup Quarter-Final Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Despite the wasted potential, £6.5 million for a striker who has never scored in the league is very good business from the Irons. A sentence that looks strange written down. Of course, knowing West Ham’s luck this will be the biggest missed opportunity since John Terry left The Academy of Football.