The former Scotland international believes that the former Wolves striker's attitude isn't what it should be and that for the money demanded, that he's not worth all the hassle
By James McManus
Former Scotland captain Craig Burley believes that Sunderland have overpaid for Steven Fletcher after they completed the signing of the Wolves striker.
After three seasons in the top flight, first with Burnley and then Wolves, the 25 year-old forward had been the subject of several rejected bids from Martin O'Neill's club this summer until they finally landed their man.
The Clarets are now set for a small financial windfall, receiving 15 per cent of the proposed fee due to a sell-on agreement which was stipulated in his previous move to Molineux back in 2010, which drove the price up towards the £15m mark this time around.
Fletcher hasn't played international football for Scotland since being left out of the squad for both the Spain and Czech Republic games during their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign by current boss Craig Levein and Burley reckons that given his past commitment problems, particularly with the national side, that his value is far too high.
"I think that's a lot of money - he did a good job for Wolves at times, he's a decent enough player but I wouldn't hang my hat on him," Burley told Goal.com.
"I think his attitude in general has been pretty poor, not in terms of how he works but there's an issue with if he's going to turn up with Scotland as well.
"He's at a prime age and he should be playing international football, which he's not, so that would be a question that I would ask.
"If Martin O'Neill wants to pay big bucks for him then that's his business, but is he good enough to push Sunderland up the table towards where they want to go? I'm not quite so sure about that."
On the subject of his former club Chelsea, the 40 year-old doesn't believe that a title push is on the cards this coming campaign under Roberto Di Matteo, citing the club's reliance on an out-of-sorts Fernando Torres as a reason for that.
"No, I don't see it. If you'd have handed Di Matteo a fiver last year, by the time it hit his palm, it would have been a fifty pound note," stated Burley
"Whether people like it or not, they carried a monumental amount of luck. Alright, they were well organised, we know that, but it's difficult to keep that going forward.
"Drogba is a big player they're going to miss that scores big goals. Let's be honest, Torres isn't going to get those goals.
"For 18 months when he first came to Liverpool, I thought he was the best striker in Europe - fast, brave, clinical - unfortunately for him, I just can't see him getting back to that. Who is going to get Chelsea the big goals when they're in tight games?
"You're now reliant on a £50m player who for the most part has been a bit of a flop. If he doesn't do it, then they're going to have to cut their losses, it's as simple as that.
"We're talking about Manchester United having four very good strikers, while Chelsea are relying on a guy who has struggled for the best part of two years."