Why Steven Fletcher would be a good short-term option for Burnley
According to a report from TEAMtalk (h/t Lancs Live), Burnley are among a host of clubs vying for the signing of Sheffield Wednesday striker Steven Fletcher. The 33-year-old’s contract expires this summer.
Fletcher came through the youth ranks at Hibernian FC in Scotland and went on to make 140 first-team appearances, bagging 40 goals. In 2009, the Scotsman joined Burnley and spent a season at the club, scoring 12 goals in 38 matches, before joining Wolves in 2010. He was with the club for two years and made 67 appearances, contributing with 24 goals and 8 assists.
Fletcher joined Sunderland in 2012 and made over 100 appearances, netting 23 goals. He had a short loan stint with French club Marseille in the second half of the 2015/16, before signing for Sheffield Wednesday on a free transfer in 2016. Since joining the Owls, the forward has featured 135 times till date, finding the net on 38 occasions.
Goal-shy Burnley need to bolster their attack
Burnley, meanwhile, have done well to recover from a slow start to the campaign. While the Clarets sit in 10th place in the Premier League table, their lack of goals should be a major concern for manager Sean Dyche. They have scored just 34 goals in the league this term, with only a handful of teams netting fewer.
Apart from Chris Wood, who has 11 goals this season, Burnley have lacked a significant goal threat on the pitch. While both Jay Rodriguez and Ashley Barnes have chipped in with goals, six and five respectively, neither has been consistent enough.
Then there is Matej Vydra, who has hardly featured this season. He was keen on leaving the club in January. With his contract expiring in 2021, there may be a chance that Burnley decide to cash in on him. Hence, signing a new centre-forward would be a good move by the Clarets.
Signing Fletcher, to that end, would be a smart move by Burnley. The 33-year-old will not be a long-term option for the Clarets by any means. But he is a seasoned campaigner with plenty of experience under his belt. He has 508 career appearances till date 189 of which have come in the Premier League. The Scotsman has scored 140 goals in his career.
Despite being 33, he has been in good goalscoring form for Sheffield Wednesday. Last season, Fletcher finished with a return of 11 goals and 4 assists in 45 games. He has bettered that tally this time out, netting 13 goals in 29 appearances.
Fletcher’s addition would add more firepower to the Burnley frontline that hasn’t been firing on all cylinders.
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Burnley have been goal-shy in the Premier League this term – an issue that needs to be addressed for them to take the next step. And signing Fletcher, on a free transfer, would help bolster their attack next season.
The 33-year-old will not be a long-term solution by any means. But with his experience and proven credentials, he would add more depth and quality to the Clarets attack.