HARRISON, N.J. – The Red Bulls fortified their front line as they added striker Ashley Fletcher on loan from Watford for six months, the MLS Club announced on Monday.
Fletcher’s loan is pending P1-visa and ITC, with an option to buy.
He will fill an international spot on the roster.
“We are happy to add Ashley to our team,” sporting director Denis Hamlett said in a statement. “His experience in both the English Premier League and English Championship will prove to be valuable among our young group of players.”
Fletcher, 26, has risen through several levels of English soccer, beginning at Manchester United’s Youth Academy to the English Championship and English Premier League. He has amassed 42 goals and 20 assists in 177 matches played since signing his first professional contract at 20-years-old. At Watford, Fletcher tallied six matches with two goals and one assists across all competitions.
“It is good to see Ashley join our squad this season,” Red Bulls head coach Gerhard Struber said in a statement. “His general movement off the ball suggests he has a good level of game understanding, which is shown by recognizing and exploiting space with precise timing. He will hopefully prove to be a good piece in the attacking zone.”
The 6-1, 160-lb. Fletcher began his youth career with Bolton Wanderers FC before joining Manchester United’s Youth Academy in 2012. While at Manchester United’s Youth Academy, he helped lead the Academy team to consecutive Under-21 Premier League titles with tallied three goals and two assists over 13 matches.
He also was called into the England U-20 national team while at Manchester United’s Youth Academy. He recorded one goal in two matches.
When he was 20, Fletcher was loaned to Barnsley FC on Jan. 7, 2016. He tallied nine goals and six assists in 26 matches. Fletcher went to West Ham United for the 2016-17 season), Middlesbrough FC for half a season (end of 2017), Sunderland for half of a season (Jan. 31-May 31, 2018) and back to Middlesbrough for three seasons (2018-19 to 2020-21). During that stretch, he accrued 40 goals and 19 assists in 171 games.