West Bromwich Albion completed one of the best deals of transfer deadline day when they signed Darren Fletcher from Manchester United on a free transfer.
While the Scotland international has hardly featured in recent months, Baggies fans should not take that as a sign that he is on the wane.
Far from it, the 31-year-old still has plenty to offer, in terms of talent, experience and heart.
Fletcher was and remains a fan favourite at Old Trafford for his tenacity, his passion and the way he fought back from a career-threatening injury to play at the top level once more.
His ulcerative colitis would have no doubt forced him to think long and hard about his future, and now every time he sets foot on the pitch he is sure to give his all not only because it is in his nature, but because he knows how close he came to never playing again.
Fletcher has made 11 appearances in the Premier League this season, racking up just 364 minutes on the pitch, and while his statistics are likely to improve with regular game-time, there is already a key area of West Brom’s midfield that he can improve simply by being a part of things.
Fletcher’s passing accuracy this campaign is an impressive 90 per cent; a full five per cent more than West Brom’s best performer in that area – James Morrison.
|Passing Accuracy||Key Passes per Game||Shots per Game||Goals per Game||Duels Won per Game||Tackles Won per Game||Effective Clearances per Game||Interceptions Won per Game||Mins Played|
Fletcher keeps the ball with ease, picking the right pass and using his years of experience for the good of the team.
He is a composed figure, and that is surely one of the main reasons Baggies boss Tony Pulis was so keen to sign him.
West Brom are currently 15th in the Premier League and they have plenty of work to do to pull further away from the bottom three. But Fletcher’s inclusion can only be a good thing in that regard.
With time to build up his match-fitness, expect the ex-United player’s other key stats to improve accordingly.