Stoke City have completed the permanent signing of Steven Fletcher.
Fletcher has been on the lookout for a new challenge having parted company with Sheffield Wednesday earlier this summer after four years of service.
Last season in the Championship the 33-year-old scored 13 goals in 27 appearances for the Owls, registering a further two assists and producing one of his most consistent goalscoring displays from his time at Hillsborough.
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Garry Monk and Wednesday couldn’t get him tied down to a new deal, with an announcement coming from Stoke that they’ve swooped to sign the Scottish international on a free transfer.
Fletcher, formerly of Wolves, Sunderland and Marseille, links back up with former Wednesday teammate, Morgan Fox, who has also made the move to Stoke after failing to agree terms with Wednesday.
Assessing his new arrival, Michael O’Neill said: “I’ve known Steven for a long time, since he first broke into the team at Hibernian. He’s a player I’ve always liked; I’ve watched his career with interest and wherever he has been he has done well and scored goals.
“I know how important he was to Sheffield Wednesday last season and it’s no coincidence that they had a difficult second half of the season when injury took Steven out of the team so I think it’s a really positive signing for us.”
O’Neill is preparing for his first full season at Stoke after overseeing their escape from relegation last term.
The Potters won three of their last four games in the Championship to ensure that they didn’t make it two relegations in the space of three seasons.
The task at Stoke is to get them challenging higher up the Championship table next season after a tough couple of years in the second-tier.
O’Neill has proved he knows what is required to pick up results at this level and with the right people within his squad, you’ve got to back him to do just that.
Fletcher is an excellent signing and, on the back of such a good year at Hillsborough, he could be a real asset next season.
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