Manchester United’s U21s coach Warren Joyce is happy with the progress Ashley Fletcher has made this season.
The 19-year-old has made the step up from the U18s this season and scored for the U21s in their 1-0 win this week with what was an excellent first touch and finish after a long ball over the top from Phil Jones.
Just like James Wilson in the first-team, Fletcher has had to wait for his opportunities and speaking about the 19-year-old, Joyce praised his efforts off the pitch in helping him become a stronger player.
“Fletcher has had to bide his time,” Joyce told MUTV.
“A little bit like Paddy [McNair] last year really. He has done a lot of work in the mornings and afternoons to try to develop himself, so you’re pleased he’s got his rewards.
“I’d have been pleased if he’d have got the header in early doors as it’s one area we are working particularly hard on to improve. I think he has developed it a little bit over the season but he has still got a lot more to come. There is also a lot more to come even in his body because he’s not fully developed yet.”
Fletcher faces a tough task breaking into United’s first-team given that Wilson is ahead of him in the pecking order but there will always be opportunities for him at one point in his career.
With United’s attack looking so fragile at the moment as well, Louis van Gaal will certainly be looking at all his options and if Fletcher can continue his progress through the lower ranks at United, there’s no reason why he can’t force himself into contention.