• July 19, 2024

Manchester United forgotten player who rejected new deal retires at 28

Former Manchester United midfielder James Weir, who made his Premier League debut alongside Marcus Rashford, has decided to retire at the age of 28. His only game for the Red Devils was in January 2016 when Louis van Gaal was in charge and they beat Arsenal 3-2 at Old Trafford, with Rashford scoring twice on his debut. Weir came on as a substitute in stoppage time, replacing Ander Herrera, but that was his only game for United.

He then moved to Hull City who were a Premier League club at that time – rejecting a new contract at United in the process. He later had loan spells at Wigan and Bolton and after that, played in Slovakia and Hungary, before deciding to retire. On Instagram, Weir declared: “Life update.

After a lot of thought and consideration, I’ve decided to hang up my boots professionally. A bittersweet moment, but I can look back on my career with happy memories. Despite my injuries, I’ve met some incredible people, forged life-long relationships and travelled the world doing what I love.”

He added his gratitude saying: “Huge thank you to family, friends, coaches, teammates and fans who’ve all helped me on my journey. Through the highs, lows, and everything in between, I’ve lived my dream. I’m excited in the pursuit of living my next dream away from the beautiful game.”

Weir might be wondering what could have been in his injury-ravaged career if he looks back on his United exit. He quit the club despite them offering him a new contract. In the summer I only trained with the first team with Mourinho maybe twice, I didn’t feel too close to it.

Hull were interested, I hadn’t really played any first-team football; I felt it was time to move on. “The club had players like [Paul] Pogba, [Bastian] Schweinsteiger, the competition was incredible and I wasn’t really getting a chance to prove myself. I thought it was best to go away and you never know if you can come back.”

Recalling his United debut, he added: “At the time you’re thinking ‘don’t mess up’, it was 3-2, I was just thinking ‘run around and do what you can’ and then it was over. “I came on for Herrera and he came up to me and said ‘fight!’ It was typical of him. I remember that clearly.

In terms of the coaches, I think it was more just ‘don’t mess up’. Ander was a good guy. He was all emotion and passion, there was no holding back.”

While manager of United gave a chance to many young players including Rashford, who remains his biggest success story. He also handed minutes to the likes of Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, and Tyler Blackett. Under Van Gaal’s guidance, Jesse Lingard made his first appearance for United.

Lingard became a crucial player during Van Gaal’s tenure, scoring the winning goal in the FA Cup final victory over Crystal Palace in 2016. While Weir finds himself retired at 28, Lingard – now 31 – has just moved to South Korea to join FC Seoul. He explained: “I’m really excited, it’s a new challenge.

I’m here, I’m ready to embrace the culture. It’s a new beginning for me, a new chapter in my career. I just want to enjoy playing football again and putting a smile on people’s faces and showing the Korean fans what I can do.”

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