Last one for today, dear friends; tBB is having trouble keeping its eyes open. We bring you news of one final departure from Old Trafford; a slightly sad one. Long-term servant and former one-club man Darren Fletcher has joined West Bromwich Albion.
Albion are delighted to welcome Darren Fletcher on free transfer. Our new No.24 has signed a 2.5 year deal with a 12-month option #wba— West Bromwich Albion (@WBAFCofficial) February 3, 2015
Unlike most of the departures from United this January, Fletcher was for several seasons an integral part of the United first-team squad, overcoming a slow start to his career to become a fan favourite and a trusted lieutenant of Alex Ferguson. He would presumably have been of similar importance to David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, had he not been stuck down in November 2011 with ulcerative colitis, a debilitating condition that for a while threatened to end his career altogether.
Though he returned after surgery in December 2013, and though Van Gaal named him as United's "third captain" this season, he has fallen down the midfield pecking order. He therefore leaves United in search of more playing time, having played for 342 games for the club, and won five Premier League titles, one FA Cup, two League Cups and one Champions League. Though obviously he'd have had two, had he not been harshly dismissed in the 2009 semi-final. Got away with one there, didn't you Xavi?
All the best, Fletch.