Sam McQueen At Crossroads With His Career In Doubt
Friday, 30th Apr 2021 09:59
Saints left sided player Sam McQueen may well have kicked his last ball for the club with his contract at St Mary's ending at the end of the season, but it is more serious than that and Ralph Hasenhuttl has revealed he may never play again.
Sam McQueen's footballing career appears to be hanging in the balance with Ralph Hasenhuttl suggesting that he may be reaching the end of the road after an injury which has kept him out for over 2 1/2 years.
When asked if McQueen who will be out of contract at the end of this season would play again, Hasenhuttl says it would be a miracle.
“His knee is good. He had some other problems, it’s a very long story to be honest,”
“I’ve never had a situation where I was coming to the club and never see a player not playing for two-and-a-half years now.
“Since I’m here, I’ve never seen him on the pitch but when you know the infection on his knee and how things are going on then its even now a wonder that he’s able to play football or maybe one time will be able to play football again.
“We don’t know if he will ever return back to the pitch but if he does then its a miracle.”
The left sided player made his first appearance for the club back in February 2014 when he came on in the final 8 minutes of a 1-0 FA Cup defeat at Sunderland for Adam Lallana, a substitution surrounded with controversy at the time in that then manager Mauricio Pochettino was criticised for putting out a weakened side for the trip and not taking the FA Cup seriously and bringing off our most creative player for a 19 year old debutant was not welcomed by the Saints supporters at the time.
It was enough to earn him a four year contract that summer, but he was not to play again for the first team until October 2016 when Claude Puel gave him his Premier League debut, again off the bench, although he had spent the previous season on loan at Southend United so had played in League 1.
Season 2016/17 proved to be his best for Saints and he played in early rounds of the League cup and was an unused sub in the final at Wembley against Manchester United.
But this would not be the breakthrough he would have hoped for and the following year he struggled for game time and strangely after a decent performance at left back in a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford he would only play twice more that season, putting in a viatl backs to the wall display in the final 7 minutes at Swansea City a performance that all but sent the Swans down and kept Saints up and then another 9 minute cameo in the final game , a last minute loss to Manchester City.
Little did he or for that matter Saints supporters know that this would be the last time he would appear in a Saints shirt for the next 2 1/2 years and it seems perhaps ever.
In August 2018 he was sent out on loan to Championship side Middlesbrough, he would not be a regular started for Boro, but he was in the starting line up for their League Cup game against Crystal Palace and in the 29th minute of that game he was carried off with a serious knee injury
It was serious but not expected to keep him out for more than the rest of the season, but infection set in and as Ralph Hasenhuttl has alluded there have been other problems with it although the manager seemed to be coy about what those problems have been.
Since then he has spent most of his time at Staplewood and not ever looked near to a playing return.
In some respects he has become the forgotten man, in truth he was never going to be a truly first choice player in the Premier League, but he had been a good squad player for a couple of seasons in which although he started just 4 Premier League games, he camme off the bench on 14 other occasions, also making appearances in the cup including the game at the San Siro against Inter Milan in the Europa League .
But now he is at a crossroads , as Ralph alluded he has not kicked a ball in over 2 1/2 years and by next season it will be almost 3, he is at the end of his Saints contract and although there will be some who would say that the club should perhaps give him another year, I think that is not fair on the club at a time when all football clubs are struggling financially.
The choices are that McQueen opts to retire in which case there would likely be some form of insurance pay out to him, or if he is able to try and restart his career now aged 26 then he needs to drop down a division or two.
No one likes to write a story like this Sam McQueen might not have been destined for super stardom, but he was a local lad who played for his club and although might not have made it at St Mary's at the top level would have had a decent living in the game.
Good luck to Sam McQueen, I truly hope he is able to recover and kick start his career, but from what Ralph Hasenhuttl has said it is highly unlikely.
Photo: Action Images
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