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Manchester United: Darren Fletcher Desperate for Return to United First Team

CLUJ-NAPOCA, ROMANIA - OCTOBER 02:  Darren Fletcher of Manchester United battles with Rafael Bastos of CFR 1907 Cluj during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between CFR 1907 Cluj and Manchester United at the Constantin Radulescu Stadium on October 2, 2012 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIOctober 10, 2012

Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher has spoken about his burning desire to return to the starting lineup at Old Trafford as soon as possible, having spent a lengthy period on the sidelines due to an injury he suffered last season for the Red Devils.

The Scotland international has been spending good time in the United reserves squad and in cup ties recently, and believes he is back to a fitness level where he can become a regular contributor to the first team again.

Fletcher told Manchester United's official video network that he is more than ready to return to the starting side, should the opportunity arise.

I know that the manager has got such a big squad now, especially in the midfield area, and there is a lot of competition for places.

I have to be patient and wait for my chances but, hopefully, one will come around sooner rather than later.

I think my general fitness is fine, it's just match fitness, the sharpness, reaction times—things in your head and things like that...

The 28-year-old was last on the field for Manchester United in the English Premier League back in November of last year, although he did feature recently in the Red Devils' UEFA Champions League and Capital One Cup matches.

And currently away on international duties, it seems that Fletcher is back to a level of fitness that would allow him to play regular first-team football.

The question then becomes whether or not he is the most viable option for the Red Devils moving forward, especially if they adopt the new diamond formation that Sir Alex Ferguson is finding good success with at the moment.

United do have Premier League veterans in Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick both available for central midfield roles, although their age does not lend themselves to being permanent inclusions in the starting team, regardless of their proven talent.

Sir Alex Ferguson will be eager to set up a midfield that can be sustained for several seasons to come, which could in turn, help Fletcher's cause in finding a return to the starting side—potentially playing alongside England international Tom Cleverley.

Fletcher has the Premier League experience—having played nearly 200 matches in the English competition—and would be a sound option for the Red Devils boss to turn to over the next month or so in order to give his players good rest and recovery time.

With several key fixtures over the next month, don't be surprised to see Fletcher find his way back into the United squad sooner rather than later. He is a proven talent and has the experience required, and could be the man the Red Devils need to lead them to Premier League glory this season.


Will Darren Fletcher find his way back into the starting side at United?

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