Darren Fletcher is a midfielder for Scotland and Manchester United in the English Premier League. He can play on the right side of midfield (he was once touted as the ‘next David Beckham’) but is at his best when he plays in the centre of the pitch, breaking down the opposition’s attacks, and throwing himself into the rough-and-tumble of the English game. He has captained Scotland, and is a mainstay in their national team.
Darren Fletcher was born on 1st February 1984, in the outskirts of Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh. Having been brought up in Scotland, his first allegiance was with Hearts, but his second team was always Manchester United. Darren was one of the brightest prospects to emerge from Scotland for some time – Sir Alex Ferguson paid a personal visit to his family home in Edinburgh to ensure that Darren would sign for the United.
Darren Fletcher arrived at Old Trafford after he had completed his GCSEs, with his family relocating to the North-West. He signed his first professional contract on his 17th birthday, though it was another three years of hard-work in the youth and reserve teams before he was given his big chance at Manchester United.
Darren Fletcher made his debut for Manchester United in the League Cup in October 2003. He was employed as a right-midfielder, mainly because he lacked the physical presence necessary to marshal the team from the centre of the pitch. As he developed over the years, and bulked up, Fletcher became adept at winning physical battles – even with the likes of Patrick Vieira of Arsenal.
Darren had his first taste of success in the FA Cup at the end of his first season in the first-team squad – he even started in final, and was a significant player in their victory over Millwall.
Whilst many expected Fletcher to become a first-team regular in midfield, he is still very much considered as a utility midfielder – never having made the position his own. He is hard-working, but lacks some of the sublime creativity that the likes of Scholes and Giggs have. With Sir Alex Ferguson buying in talented centre-midfielders, Fletcher’s appearances have been limited – Carrick, Hargreaves and Anderson have all joined the club in the last two seasons.
Fletcher is trusted in the big games – Sir Alex used him against Chelsea in their 3-0 in January 2009 – and can perform the defensive midfielder role admirably. He remains an important member of the squad, and has added two Premier League titles and the Champions League title to his honours list in recent years.
Darren Fletcher is the kind of player that the Scottish love to see playing for them – hard-work, bravery and non-stop running can be guaranteed. Alongside Barry Ferguson in the centre of the pitch, Darren has been a key player for the Scots. He made his debut in August 2003, and had notched up 40 caps before he was 25 years old. He has yet to represent Scotland in a major Finals, but that is surely a matter of time.