On Saturday, Darren Fletcher will return to Old Trafford for the first time since leaving Manchester United for West Brom in the January transfer window. Louis van Gaal correctly claims that Fletcher will get a great reception from the fans.

He’ll get a great reaction from the fans. I hope so. I hope so because Marouane Fellaini was not received very well at Everton but I think the fans shall give Darren a lot of applause.

Van Gaal initially made Fletcher his vice-captain, before demoting him below Michael Carrick. The two had a conversation about the limited playing time he could expect this season, and agreed it would be in his best interest to leave. Fletcher wears the same shirt number at West Brom as he did at United, 24, he’s their captain and he plays every week.

We spoke about his performances and how much he would play in the second half of the season. We made a decision that we were agreed on. It was not so hard because we spoke about it. I always communicate with my players. Sometimes it shall be hard from the outside but I have always spoken about the decision we have made together.