Leeds United were long linked with striker Ashley Fletcher during Garry Monk’s managerial reign. It came after Fletcher had been a success at Barnsley, on loan from Manchester United. That summer he headed to West Ham instead of Leeds.
Last summer the Sun reported that Leeds were one of the team keen on the forward, while the same publication (print edition; 21st January 2018; page 68) suggested that he was also on their radar in the recent January transfer window.
Leeds never got hold of Fletcher. He moved to Middlesbrough from West Ham for £6.5 million in the summer, according to BBC Sport. Monk was the man who took him to the Riverside, finally getting his man. In January, Fletcher headed to Sunderland instead.
But Leeds fans should not be disappointed that Fletcher did not head to Elland Road. The striker has not been in prolific form at either club. This season the 21-year-old has scored just two goals in 28 games. Fletcher’s last goal came against QPR way back in September.
Leeds have been short of striker options at times this season. Pierre-Michel Lasogga, the replacement for the departed Chris Wood, has shouldered the main burden of goalscoring responsibility. Caleb Ekuban, Jay-Roy Grot and Kemar Roofe have struggled to find form and fitness this campaign. Whilst January recruit Tyler Roberts has not managed to play for Leeds at all since his arrival from West Brom, because of injury.
Fans at Elland Road would have liked more goalscoring options at the club this season. Fletcher however has struggled to find any sort of form at Middlesbrough or Sunderland.
Monk spent £6.5 million on the striker last summer and would have wanted to pay that fee and bring him to Leeds.
Thankfully that was money which can be spent better elsewhere in the summer.