On-loan Sunderland star reveals why he left club for France

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Steven Fletcher opens up on his reasons for moving abroad in the January transfer window.

Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher has told the Daily Record that he left the club to move to Marseille on loan because he was told by Sam Allardyce that he would not be getting regular game time in the Premier League.

The Scottish international signed a deal to join the French side until the end of the season at the end of the January transfer window and has enjoyed a relatively successful start to life across the Channel.

With his contract at the Black Cats due to expire in June, that move effectively sealed the 28-year-old's permanent departure from the club after 23 goals in 108 appearances following a £12 million move from Wolves four years ago.

Fletcher admitted to the Daily Record that he is enjoying life in France after putting the frustration of his time on Wearside behind him and insisted he is looking forward to being able to reconsider his future in the summer.

He said: "It did get frustrating at Sunderland but the gaffer was honest that I wouldn’t be playing as often as I wanted.

"I always thought I would like a move abroad. It’s fantastic for the family and I can’t really complain either as I'm training at 10.30am and finished by half 12. I’m back home and sitting in the sun most of the day.

“I thought we should be doing more training but they seem a bit more relaxed there and we have also been playing twice a week, as well as playing in the Europa League.

"I’m looking forward to the situation I’ll be in this summer, although it can be scary as well."

Fletcher is unlikely to linger long in the memories of Sunderland fans despite spending four years with the club, after the goals dried up following an encouraging first season.

After netting 11 times in 28 Premier League appearances in his first season at the Stadium of Light, the striker has scored just 12 more in the last two-and-a-half years before his move abroad.

It remains to be seen what the next step in Fletcher's career will be when both his loan deal and Sunderland contract expire this summer, with the striker having previously expressed his desire to make the move to Marseille permanent.

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