By Gursimran Hans
Promising 21-year-old forward Ashley Fletcher has left the club to join Middlesbrough for a fee of £6.5 million.
The Yorkshire born forward joined the club last summer but only scored one goal in twenty matches, an equaliser in their 4-1 defeat to Manchester United in the fifth round of the League Cup.
Fletcher, who scored in the club’s most recent friendly fixture, had shown early promise but found first team opportunities hard to come by following the return of Andy Carroll.
By joining the Teesiders he will have more game time and more time to develop his skills. Time will tell if Fletcher will be the one who got away or another young striker that did not quite work out.
Slaven Bilic told the official site: “We got a fantastic offer for Ashley and ideally I wanted to help him with a different kind of scenario, but at the end of the day the offer was so good for the Club and for him personally.
“I spoke to him on Wednesday night and I told him to be proud of the step that he made since coming to West Ham last year to being a player that a lot of clubs from the Championship are asking for.
“To make such a big step is a big bonus for him and a big thing for him. He’s very young, very promising, a great lad and a great trainer, so he can improve a lot.”