If reports are to be believed then Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers are now considering a loan move for West Ham United youngster Ashley Fletcher. The 21-year-old had a disappointing start to his first big season in the Premier League after he moved from Manchester United to West Ham last summer on a free transfer.
Following their disappointing run in the second-tier tournament last season, the club has been quite aggressive in the transfer market this summer. They have brought in the likes of Ruben Neves from FC Porto, Barry Douglas from Atiker Konyaspor, John Ruddy and Ryan Bennett from Norwich City, Roderick Miranda from Rio Ave FC, Will Norris from Cambridge United. On loan, they have brought in Rúben Vinagre from AS Monaco and Willy Boly from Porto.
However, all these players would strengthen their defensive third to be specific and after the departure of Jon Dadi Bodvarsson to Reading FC, what manager Nuno Espirito Santo essentially needs is a potent centre-forward. Apart from Nouha Dicko, Wolves hardly have a proven and experienced forward at the moment.
While 26-year-old Joe Mason remains an option in that position and Diogo Jota’s arrival is still awaited, the Portuguese boss is still looking at an extra option to go through the exhausting 46 games of the league next year. And Ashley Fletcher has emerged as an option for him.
The Hammers have brought in Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez in their attacking third over the existing option of Andy Carroll and Fletcher’s chances of breaking into the fore by toppling them is nearly impossible at the moment. Despite his underwhelming displays last season, West Ham are still willing to give him a chance to prove and Championship could be the ideal place to gain confidence.
The centre-forward has come up through the ranks of Manchester United and even had a loan stint with Barnsley when they were in the League One. However, he has failed to show any such potential whatsoever on his stints apart from the one at Barnsley. He had scored nine goals and six assists in 26 games for them in the 2015-16 season.
Last season, however, he was pencilled to play in West Ham’s Under-23 side but had to be called upon from time to time as Bilic ran out of options. Although he couldn’t manage to score or assist in the league, his early goal against Manchester United in the EFL Cup did create a stir.