Manchester United striker Ashley Fletcher has extended his loan stay at Barnsley until the end of the season, the League One club have confirmed. Fletcher, 20, initially joined the Tykes on a one-month loan deal at the beginning of the year. The striker scored just four minutes into his debut for the club against Fleetwood Town in the Johnstone Paint Trophy.
His contribution has continued, with two assists in three further appearances for Lee Johnson's side, prompting the club to reach out to United and secure the England Under-20 international until the end of the 2015-16 season.
"I'm really pleased and very grateful to Manchester United for allowing us to keep Ashley to the end of the season," Johnson told the club's official website.
"He has been a real asset to the group since joining and has improved with each game. He'll only get better and stronger as we go along, so we're all extremely excited to have him on board as we head towards the business end of the season."
Fletcher, who is yet to make his senior debut for United, was pleased to secure a move that should guarantee him more first-team football opportunities. He commented: "I'm delighted to be staying here as I've really enjoyed my time so far. The dressing room is a great place to be and I'm excited looking ahead at the games coming up. I feel I will only get better as I get more experience under my belt and I want to help the team as far up the league as possible, so who knows where we can go."
United also confirmed the deal via their official Twitter account.
Fletcher forced his way into Warren Joyce's Manchester United Under-21 squad towards the end of last season and remained there until moving to Oakwell. His progress this season was also marked by scoring on his debut for England's Under-20 side in November, just 10 minutes after coming off the bench.
A hat-trick for Manchester United's Under-21 side in the 3-2 victory over Rochdale in the Lancashire Senior Cup in September further underlined his credentials as a potent goalscorer.