Ashley Fletcher could compete with Marcus Rashford - Barnsley boss

Ashley Fletcher could have been the one breaking through as a Manchester United striker this season rather than Marcus Rashford, according to Barnsley's caretaker manager Paul Heckingbottom.

United striker Fletcher has been on loan at Barnsley since January and enjoyed Wembley glory on Sunday, scoring after just 89 seconds in the League One playoff final against Millwall. Fletcher's goal gave the Yorkshire club an early 1-0 lead on the way to a 3-1 success that secured promotion to the Championship.

Barnsley had been bottom of the table at Christmas, but Fletcher helped them engineer a remarkable turnaround to their season. The 20-year-old has scored nine goals for them in 27 appearances in all competitions.

Heckingbottom told reporters after the final: "I don't know the pecking order there but, if he wasn't here he could have been making his debut instead of Rashford.

"I think he will get better and better. United will have seen his progression and they'll know he has the attributes to get better."

Fletcher was sent out on loan, while Rashford remained at the club. When Anthony Martial was injured in a warm-up against FC Midtjylland in February, a striker shortage meant that Rashford started for the first team, scored twice and went on to become a regular.

Rashford finished the 2015-16 season with five Premier League goals to his name and he scored on his England debut last Friday to put him firmly in contention for Roy Hodgson's 23-man squad for Euro 2016.