Manchester United starlet hoping to replicate Adnan Januzaj’s rise this season

by Tracey Germaine

James Weir is looking forward to the new season under Louis Van Gaal and the Preston born midfielder is hoping that he can get a chance like Adnan Januzaj, James Wilson and Tom Lawrence did.

Weir, 18, struggled with injury last season with a knee injury early on and needed to have an operation on it which kept him sidelined and unfortunately, he then had a niggling ankle injury which saw him have limited chances in the latter stage of the Under-21 season.

“They have had a chance and done amazingly well – Adnan’s really taken his opportunity,” Weir told

“I just hope there is more to come. It’s good to see British lads getting a go like Wilo and Tom, and hopefully there will be a few more of us.”

Weir hit a rich vein of goal-scoring form which helped United gain a semi-final spot in the Barclay’s Under-21 league and saw him chosen by interim boss Ryan Giggs to train with the first team.

“I think my last two games at United before the final, I’d scored and I hoped to get another one against Chelsea. I was starting to think it could be my lucky ground. It’s a privilege scoring at Old Trafford and we were unfortunate not to win that Norwich game.”

Weir came off the bench again in the final but unfortunately United weren’t able to retain their Under-21 title. It was disappointing in many ways for the young squad but defeats like that can spur players on.

He added: “It was a big kick in the teeth to lose a goal that late on in the game. Obviously, all the lads were gutted to watch Chelsea go through their celebrations. It leaves a big scar on your chest and you don’t want it happening again.”

Given his injuries, the end of the season came a bit too soon for the versatile midfielder, who can play anywhere across the middle and also at right-back, and even with his crucial role in United’s late push for the final, Weir was disappointed with the 2013/14 season.

“It didn’t go as well as I would have wanted in Europe, as we didn’t get out of the group stage in the UEFA Youth League,” he said.

“I also wanted to become a reserve-team regular, so it was frustrating to be injured, but it was still a good campaign.”

He’s hoping to push on next season and there should be plenty of space for youngsters on the preseason tour, so he may have an early chance to impress Van Gaal.

He added: “I’ll push on. I definitely want to keep striving forward and become the best player I can be. It will be a clean slate next term, something similar happened last year with David Moyes, but I’m sure Warren Joyce will speak to the new manager [Louis van Gaal] and tell him about his lads and, hopefully, he can see for himself too.”

For the moment though Weir is content to wait his turn, placing his trust in the famous youth set-up: “I’ve been here since I was 13 and there is no better Academy anywhere in the world to come through. They wait until the time is right and it’s a top club.”

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