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Fletcher: This is why I rejected Manchester United offer to join West Ham

By Dominic Toner

Ashley Fletcher has claimed West Ham’s traditions of giving young players a chance is one of the reasons he joined the club.

The striker joined the Londoners on a free transfer from Manchester United after agreeing a four-year contract on Tuesday night.

He told West Ham’s website: “I am very excited to be here. West Ham are a massive club and I am just happy that I can come and further my development here.

“I think it is a club with a lot of ambition. They have a lot of good players and it was a special final season (at the Boleyn Ground). West Ham are a club built on traditions of giving youngsters a run and hopefully I can get my chance as well.”

The 20-year-old hopes to follow in some illustrious footsteps in east London.

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In the last 15 years West Ham have produced a long list of England international including Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, Jermain Defoe, Joe Cole, Glen Johnson and Michael Carrick.

Fletcher was a free agent after rejecting a new contract offer from United and without making a senior appearance for the Premier League giants.

He spent the second half of the 2015-16 season on loan with Barnsley and scored nine goals in 27 appearances, including the first one as the Tykes secured promotion to the Championship with a 3-1 win against Millwall in the play-off final at Wembley.

The 20-year-old becomes Slaven Bilic’s seventh signing of the summer following the arrivals of Gokhan Tore, Sofiane Feghouli, Toni Martinez, Havard Nordtveit and Domingos Quina.

In other West Ham news, Arsenal great Thierry Henry could make a sensational move to the club as a coach.