A MAN trusted for the big occasion, Darren Fletcher arrived at the bet365 Stadium in the summer of 2017 having enjoyed a distinguished playing career at both domestic and international level.
One of the most acclaimed British midfielders of his generation, Fletcher has lifted a plethora of titles during his 15-year career in the game, including five top-flight crowns, two League Cups and an FA Cup, as well as the prestigious Champions League trophy.
Regarded by former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson as one of the most influential performers in English football, the 33-year-old brings a wealth of experience and quality to Mark Hughes’ first-team squad.
The current Scotland skipper joined the Potters on the back of two impressive seasons with West Bromwich Albion.
Many were surprised when the midfielder opted to leave United in February 2015, but their loss was undoubtedly the Baggies’ gain as he established himself as a key performer under Tony Pulis at the Hawthorns.
He made such an impact in the immediate aftermath of his move that he was handed the captaincy by the Welshman, and last season played a pivotal role in Albion securing their first top-half finish in the top-flight since 2013.
It was at Old Trafford that the midfielder really made a name for himself though, cementing himself as a regular performer under fellow Scotsman Ferguson alongside the likes of Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.
The Edinburgh-born midfielder’s career was curtailed somewhat in December 2011, when he was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis - a setback that meant he was forced to miss two years of action.
Thankfully, he made a full recovery and has since gone on to record over 400 senior appearances including 342 for the Red Devils, scoring 24 times, before he added a further 97 to his haul at the Hawthorns, netting an additional six goals.