Middlesbrough have reportedly put an option of a contract extension on the table for Ashley Fletcher.
Fletcher has been with Boro since the summer of 2017 and has largely been involved with the club’s first-team, barring a loan spell with Sunderland.
An injury has prevented him from truly contributing to Boro’s push for the play-offs this season, but Fletcher has still returned two goals in seven league appearances when he’s been available to Neil Warnock and bagged a brace in the League Cup.
Now, it’s been confirmed that a contract offer is on the table for the 25-year-old to extend his stay at the Riverside Stadium.
With that in mind, we dive into a list of reasons why that’s the right call for Boro to be making at this stage…
Reaching his potential
Fletcher arrived at Boro for a significant fee (£6.5m) for a forward that hadn’t exactly pulled up any trees elsewhere.
Up until 2019, it was hard to argue that Boro were seeing a return for that fee in terms of goals as they struggled in the Championship.
However, Fletcher struck 11 times last season in the Championship and, when fit, has impressed this year.
Finally we are starting to see why Boro paid so much for Fletcher back in 2017 and letting him go in the coming summer wouldn’t be good business.
Tying the striker down and letting him excel in his peak years at the Riverside Stadium is a no-brainer.
He wants to stay
Granted, we can only take Neil Warnock’s word on this.
As per Teesside Live, he said: “We’ve offered him as good as he’ll get wherever he goes. I don’t think Fletch wants to leave. You get influenced by people behind, agents or whoever.”
If it is true that Fletcher wants to stay, Boro have to move heaven and earth to keep him.
If they want a player of his quality to replace him, they will have to pay heavily in terms of a fee. In the current climate that’s not easy to do, so it makes sense to tie down what you’ve got already.