Sheffield Wednesday’s Steven Fletcher has told Open Goal that it was Barry Bannan who persuaded him to join the club.

When the 32-year-old striker was released by Sunderland in 2016, he became one of the most wanted free agent strikers in the Sky Bet Championship. Even though his stint at Sunderland was not a good one and he was coming off the back of an underwhelming loan spell with French club Marseille, his talent was not going to be ignored and plenty of teams from the second tier were interested in signing him.

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And Fletcher has revealed that was looking like he was going to sign for Norwich. However while driving down to Norwich from Glasgow, he was getting bored of the drive and got in touch with Barry Bannan who was playing for Sheffield Wednesday. Bannan would go on to say how amazing it was to play at the Owls and that persuaded Fletcher to change course and go to Wednesday instead!

He said: “It was Baz (Bannan) who got me to sign. I was going down to talk with Norwich. Alex Neil was the manager – he’s probably still not happy with me, I don’t think.”

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“I was driving down and my agent had called me on the way down saying, listen, Sheffield Wednesday are keen. I was looking at the sat-nav thinking, there’s still six hours left from Glasgow to Norwich – still a long way to go. I was half-way, I was thinking, Sheffield’s just there, do you know what I mean?”

“I texted him and said, what’s Wednesday like? He said, brilliant. I said, they want me to go speak to them. He said, you need to come. And I was like, right – sat-nav, changing it. I went in and signed that night.”

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“I had to tell Alex Neil, aye. He wasn’t happy. Can’t even say it on camera! Nah, it wasn’t too bad, just, OK. That’s even worse, isn’t it?”


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