James Weir was handed his Manchester United debut off the bench against Arsenal in February 2016 and went on to enjoy a career in Europe before an early retirement
Former Manchester United midfielder James Weir has opted to call time on his career at the age of 28.
His only appearance for the Red Devils came in January 2016 when Louis van Gaal was at the helm. An injury-hit United side saw off Arsenal 3-2 at Old Trafford with Marcus Rashford, who was also making his debut, scoring a memorable brace for the hosts.
Weir was introduced as a substitute in stoppage time, replacing Ander Herrera. That short stint on the pitch proved to be his only outing for United as he and Rashford saw their careers go in very different directions.
The Englishman joined Hull City on a permanent deal just months after his Manchester debut. He spent three years at the Yorkshire club, albeit he only played a handful of games. Weir had a loan spell at Wigan before later joining Bolton.
After that he headed to mainland Europe, moving to Slovakian side Pohronie, where he spent two years. He then had a stint at MTK Budapest in Hungary before returning to Slovakia once again. That proved to be his final switch with Weir hanging up his boots well before his 30th birthday.
He posted on Instagram: “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.
“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.”
Van Gaal gifted a host of youngsters their opportunities whilst he was in charge in Manchester. The Dutchman was more than happy to trust in youth with Rashford his biggest success story. He also handed out debuts to the likes of Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Tyler Blackett.
Jesse Lingard’s first United appearance came as a result of Van Gaal with the midfielder going on to become a major player during his tenure, scoring the winner in the FA Cup final victory over Crystal Palace back in 2016.
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