Ashley Fletcher has been explaining the reasons behind his decision to depart Manchester United in the summer to join West Ham.
“United offered me a new contract, but in terms of what I wanted, it was not right,” he says.
“It wasn’t about anything financial, it was just about my career and my progress. What they were offering and their ambitions for me did not match mine.
“Because I was out of contract, there were a few teams already aware of my situation and they were coming with bigger contracts and bigger promises for me to progress my career.
“I would say a two-year contract was not what I was expecting. It was difficult to turn Manchester United down, but you’ve got to think of your career.”
It represented the end of a seven-year association between Fletcher and Manchester United, but also signified a new beginning for the former England U20 international.
It was the persuasive powers of West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan and a long-term plan outlined by manager Slaven Bilic that convinced Fletcher his future lay with the Hammers, who were themselves preparing to enter a new era in the club’s history at the London Stadium.
He has since featured nine times for the first-team and, though he is yet to break his goal scoring duck for the club, he has shown flashes of his undoubted potential.