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Darren Fletcher left Manchester United so his sons could watch him play football

31-year-old Fletcher joined West Brom on a free transfer in January

Darren Fletcher Manchester United West Brom
Darren Fletcher left Manchester United and joined West Bromwich Albion 

Ex-Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher has revealed why he left Old Trafford in the January transfer window. The 31-year-old Scotland captain joined West Bromwich Albion on a free transfer in what he described as a ‘fantastic new challenge’ in his career.

Fletcher had taken two full years to recover from chronic bowel disease ulcerative colitis, and had played 90 minutes only once under new boss Louis van Gaal. He made a total of just four starts for United – a total of only 365 minutes in the EPL. 

The primary reason for his departure was the lack of playing time and a permanent spot on the substitutes’ bench.

I want my sons to see me playing: Fletcher

Fletcher said: “I am a professional ­footballer, and I want to play football.

“When I was fighting my illness on those lone, dark days, the goal was that I was a young man and had worked all my life to be a professional football player and I didn’t want to give up on that too early.

“My kids were still relatively young, and they hadn’t see me play that much. Those things were driving me on.

Although Fletcher was barely used by the Red Devils this season, he said he understood the circumstances but just wanted to play when he could.

“You accept squad rotation and accept the different things that have happened down the years at Manchester United.

“However, when you are on the bench week upon week it becomes difficult, especially when you feel you have so much to give and you are capable of so much more.

“I wanted the boys to see me playing, and I thought it would be at Manchester United. 

“That’s not the case. It’s here now at West Brom, and it is a new chapter for me,” he added.

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