This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Watford are closing in on a deal to sign Ashley Fletcher, according to reports from Football Insider.
The Middlesbrough attacker was is coming to the end of his contract at the Riverside Stadium and is now free to speak to other clubs over a potential move.
The 25-year-old made 109 appearances for the Teessiders since arriving in 20017, with just 14 of those coming this term in an injury-hit campaign that saw him score just four times.
A move to Vicarage Road is a big opportunity for the player, but is Ashley Fletcher a good signing for Watford?
The team at FLW have their say…
I’ve never really rated Fletcher in all honesty and I don’t quite see the logic behind Watford being interested in him.
He didn’t really hit great heights at Boro and hasn’t fulfilled his true potential since leaving Manchester United a good few years ago.
The Hornets have plenty of options up front and I think he would struggle to nail down a starting spot under Xisco Munoz in all honesty.
I’ll be shocked if he hits any type of real form in the Premier League as for me he struggled largely at Championship level overall.
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This seems like a major gamble from Watford really, with Fletcher having not managed to show that he is even a prolific scorer at Championship level so far in his career. Therefore, to ask him to suddenly perform in the Premier League might be a little too much to expect from him next term.
However, finances are going to be stretched for Watford this summer, and you can see why signing Fletcher on a free transfer and taking a bit of a risk is something they felt would be a decent idea. There is a chance that he could hit the ground running and prove to be a very smart addition, but I personally would not expect him to score too many in the top-flight.
It is perhaps a move that Watford are making in hope rather than expectations, but at least they know they have a player capable of providing a physical presence up front and he can be a handful for defenders when he is at his best.
Most people would have been anticipating another Championship move for Fletcher when he left Middlesbrough, so the forward has done really well to secure a move to the Premier League with Watford. The Hornets obviously see something in him that they feel makes him well-suited for them and Xisco Munoz will hope to get the best out of him as he has with other players so far.
This could prove to be a decent signing for Watford.
Fletcher has shown that he can score goals in the Championship in recent seasons, and he’s been unlucky to have been frozen out of the Middlesbrough team towards the end of his contract.
Troy Deeney’s future with Watford remains up in the air this summer, so it makes sense for Xisco Munoz’s side to look at other attacking options.
Fletcher will feel as though he has unfinished business in the Premier League as well, having played for West Ham in the top-flight earlier in his career.
On a free transfer, it could be an excellent addition to the Watford team.