Steven Fletcher tipped for Marseille success after Sunderland loan

AP Photo/Scott Heppell

Former Marseille players Joey Barton and Tony Cascarino have backed Steven Fletcher to succeed in Ligue 1 if his new team play to his strengths.

Fletcher, 28, will spend the rest of the season on loan at Marseille after joining from Sunderland on transfer deadline day.

The Scottish international was ineligible for their win over Montpellier on Tuesday but he is in line to make his debut against the club's arch rivals Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday.

Barton, who spent the 2012-13 season on loan at Marseille, has tipped Fletcher to do well for the side currently sixth in Ligue 1 as long as the circumstances are right.

"Steven Fletcher can maybe be a good idea for OM but for that to happen he has to be given the right service from midfield," the Burnley midfielder was quoted as saying by Le Phoceen.

"All goal scorers need good service to shine, and that's been the main problem for OM this season.

"In any case, Steven is good enough for the French league -- he can be an interesting player. The real problem is the difficult situation Marseille are in at the moment."

Following Marseille's relegation from Ligue 1 for financial irregularities and amid allegations of match fixing, Cascarino scored 61 goals for the club over two seasons between 1994 and 1996.

The former Republic of Ireland striker, whose goals helped Marseille return to the top flight, also feels that Fletcher can thrive in the south of France.

"He's a goal scorer," Cascarino told La Provence. "He's always scored goals. But he was unlucky at Sunderland after the injury which he came back from well.

"He's big but not a giant target man like [Edin] Dzeko or me -- not as aggressive. He's a good footballer.

"Not the quickest of players, not the tallest, not the best with his head, even if he is good in the air.

"To sum up, he doesn't have any very strong points -- an area where he's fantastic -- but he doesn't have a weakness. He's good in every area."

Like Barton, however, Cascarino believes that Fletcher will need to have adequate support from his new teammates.

"He needs quick players around him -- movement," the former Aston Villa, Celtic and Chelsea forward said.

"He's good at holding the ball up and very accurate in the penalty box. He's a good footballer, who I saw at his best when he played alongside another striker."