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Fletcher: This is a fantastic challenge

3 February 2015

Scotland captain checks in

ALBION have completed the signing of Scotland captain Darren Fletcher from Manchester United on a free transfer.

The 31-year-old midfielder has signed a two-and-a-half-year-deal, with a one-year option in the club's favour, after completing a medical at the training ground this evening.

He will wear the No.24 shirt.

Fletcher said: "It feels great. This is a fantastic new challenge for me in my career.

"I've spent my career at Manchester United and it's all I've ever known. 

"But I felt it was the right time to move and I'm not sentimental about doing that - I have great memories obviously, but I'm now a West Bromwich Albion player and I cannot wait to get going.

"Everyone involved in making the deal happen has been fantastic. And a big reason I'm here is because of the head coach.

"He has impressed me from the first minute. When someone shows how much they want you it's a great feeling."

For fans wondering what to expect from their new signing, Fletcher added: "I'm a midfielder who is capable of playing wherever needed - whether it's box-to-box, or sitting in deep, getting on the ball, tackling, breaking up play, etc.

"I know a few of the lads too. Mozza, who I know well from Scotland duty, has been pestering me for the last week, texting me constantly. He was giving me glowing references about how much I would love it here."

Fletcher, who was named vice-captain of United ahead of the 2014/15 season, made his debut for the club in 2003 against Basel, and during the following season, he became Scotland’s youngest ever captain at the age of 20.

He scored his first goal for the Reds in a 2-0 win away at Middlesbrough on New Year’s Day, 2005, and in November of the same year his header against Chelsea ended the champions’ 40-game unbeaten run.

The Edinburgh-born midfielder was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in December 2011, and was forced to take an extended break from the game.

After almost two years on the sidelines, Fletcher made his long-awaited first-team comeback during the Red Devil’s 3-0 win at Aston Villa in December, replacing Ryan Giggs in the 70th minute.

Fletcher spent the remainder of the 2013/14 season re-establishing himself in the middle of the park at Old Trafford and on the international stage, making a further 17 appearances for United and receiving his first call-up to the Scotland squad in over a year.

In total, the 31-year-old made 342 appearances for the Manchester club, scoring 24 times.

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