After all, the 22-year-old striker, signed for free a year previous, had gone 16 Premier League games without scoring and the feeling was that the top flight was just a bit too tough for him at the time.
But fast forward eight months and it now looks more obvious than ever that West Ham pulled off a superb bit of business.
Fletcher joined Sunderland on loan from Middlesbrough last month after netting once in 16 Championship games, and his stint on Wearside is just going from bad to worse.
The Black Cats lost 1-0 at Bolton Wanderers last night in what was arguably Fletcher's worst performance of the four that he has played, fluffing a host of goalscoring chances to salvage something for Sunderland.
Unless his form picks up dramatically, Boro won't be able to give him away this summer and the fact that West Ham earned £6.5 million from him has never looked a better deal.
It must be noted that the Irons did some pretty poor business last summer too, with the signing of Joe Hart being a notable gaffe, but admitting their mistake with Fletcher and getting paid handsomely for the mistake could and should be remembered as a masterstroke by then-manager Slaven Bilic.