Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher praised for impact at Marseille as club ends winless streak

Steven Fletcher has been praised by Marseille teammates
Steven Fletcher has been praised by Marseille teammates
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On-loan striker Steven Fletcher has won praise from his Marseille teammates after the club finally ended a winless run stretching back 11 games.

Fletcher, on loan at the French giants from Sunderland until the end of the season, set up the winner for Michy Batshuayi at Angers to end Marseille's nightmare run without a win.

And the Scotland international has been hailed as a hit at Marseille by the club's highly-rated top scorer Batshuayi.

Belgian striker Batshuayi, who Sunderland have previously kept tabs on, said: "He is a player I really like. He helps me a lot – and the same for the team.

"I hope we are going to continue to play together. It is easier on the pitch for me when he is there.

"When I play on my own, I attract all the defenders.

"When he is there, knowing that he is strong in challenges, especially in the air, he monopolises the other defenders.

"Two attackers against four opponents is better," added Batshuayi, a summer target for West Ham and Tottenham.

Fletcher effectively brought the curtain down on his Sunderland career in January when the Scotland international – out-of-contract this summer – agreed a loan switch to Marseille until the end of the season.

The 28-year-old had not appeared for Sunderland in the Premier League during 2016, with Allardyce choosing to end the season with Jermain Defoe, Trabzonspor loan man Dame N’Doye, Duncan Watmore and Fabio Borini as his striking options.

Speaking at the time, Fletcher said: "An opportunity presented itself. It was time for me to see something else.

"I love playing football and I wasn’t getting my chance at Sunderland, so I hope here that I can play more."