James Weir, the 20-year-old captain of the U21 Manchester United team, has a place on the big club’s bench for today’s game at Newcastle. If you hadn’t heard of him before, chances are you will be hearing more of him now.
Weir is an attacking midfielder by trade, but he is extremely versatile; he has played a lot at full-back, on the wing as well as been a more defensive minded midfielder over the course of his career thus far. But, can Weir make the grade as a part of the big club at Man U? Weir’s promotion has him following in the footsteps of Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Axel Tuanzebe by being promoted to the senior team this year.
Weir was born in Preston, and was signed by United in 2008. Weir broke into the under-18’s in the 2011-12 season, where he was often deployed at fullback. There, he displayed a precocious ability orchestrate offensive attacks.
Before long, he was given a regular position at midfield in the under-21’s side. Weir became a key part of the under-21s last season, eventually being named captain of the team. Weir’s main strength, as he’s shown so far, is his versatility. He showed he could play at full-back earlier in his academy career and is able to play at a high level both in the center and on the left of midfield.
Check out one of his goals earlier this month against Tottenham’s U-21’s:
Warren Joyce, Weir’s coach with the U-21 squad, believes that although Weir is close to being a true superstar, he still has a little ways to go in developing:
“He needs a little bit more confidence but the lad is a clever footballer and he does finish well. He is clever when coming inside and he makes good runs that are hard to pick up. More often than not, he does finish too.”
Manchester United fans surely hope that confidence is not far behind his obvious natural talent as a footballer.