West Ham signed Ashley Fletcher from Manchester United for around £1 million in the summer of 2016 (Football.London). The Hammers then sold the striker to Middlesbrough the following summer for around £6.5 million (BBC).
And that now looks like absolutely outstanding business from the east London outfit.
He scored just one goal in 20 appearances for West Ham (Transfermarkt).
The 24-year-old has gone on to score just 21 goals in 86 games for Boro. He also managed just two in 16 outings for Sunderland during a loan spell at the Stadium of Light (Transfermarkt).
In 34 Championship appearances this season for Middlesbrough, the striker has scored just eight goals. He has also won only 1.8 aerial duals on average per game – a poor return considering his height (Who Scored).
During his time with the Hammers, Fletcher always looked to be incredibly lightweight. And it has been much of the same during his time in the Championship with Middlesbrough.
Despite the recent rise in transfer fees, West Ham getting £6.5 million for the former Manchester United man really does look rather impressive now.
Fletcher, despite an impressive youth career, was clearly not cut out for the very highest level. It could even be argued that the Championship is proving to be too difficult for him.
We’re not revelling in the Boro striker’s misfortune over the past two or three years. We’re just simply suggesting that West Ham performed a minor miracle by getting £6.5 million for him 32 months ago.