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Stoke snap up former Man United midfielder Fletcher

The Scotland captain didn’t miss one Premier League game in two-and-a-half years at West Brom.

Fletcher in the Stoke shirt.
Fletcher in the Stoke shirt.
Image: Twitter/StokeCity

SCOTLAND CAPTAIN DARREN Fletcher has agreed a two-year deal to join Stoke City when his contract with Premier League counterparts West Brom expires.

The 33-year-old did not miss a top-flight game after joining Albion in February 2015, making 91 successive appearances under ex-Stoke boss Tony Pulis, who handed him the captaincy.

Fletcher spent the bulk of his career at Manchester United, progressing through the youth ranks before winning five Premier League titles, two EFL Cups, an FA Cup, the 2007/08 Champions League and the 2008 Club World Cup.

“It’s all happened incredibly quickly, but I am delighted to be here,” Fletcher, who recovered from chronic bowel disease ulcerative colitis after a lengthy spell out of football, told Stoke’s official website.

“This is a fantastic club with a top manager and a great group of players and I am really looking forward to this opportunity.

“I loved every moment of my time at West Bromwich Albion and I loved every moment of my time with Manchester United, but this is a new challenge for me now, and I like to think I respond well to new challenges.”

Stoke boss Mark Hughes is delighted to have made Fletcher his first capture of the close-season after an underwhelming 13th-place finish in 2016/17.

Darren is a person and a player that I have admired from afar for quite some time now, and I’m understandably delighted to have been able to bring him to the club,” Hughes said.

“It goes without saying that he has enjoyed a distinguished career in the game, having helped Manchester United to win any number of trophies during his hugely successful time there.

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“He has shown over the past two seasons that his qualities and appetite for the game haven’t diminished in any way, and I believe that his experience and leadership qualities will significantly enhance us.”

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