Ex-Premier League star McQueen, 26, forced to retire from football

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Southampton defender Sam McQueen has been forced into early retirement at the age of 26 due to long-standing injury issues.

The left-back will call time on his career on the January 31 when his contract with Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side expires.

He has been tormented by a plethora of injuries ever since he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament during a 2018 EFL Cup match against Crystal Palace, while playing on loan for Middlesbrough.

McQueen has showed great determination and resilience to try to overcome the injury, but his efforts will conclude with him hanging up his boots.

“This has been such an incredibly tough decision to make, as I so desperately want to play football again, but I have to do what is right for me and for my family,” McQueen said to The Athletic.

“The amount of time I’ve had not on my feet and not running has caused my body to de-condition to such a level that now, when I try to join in any parts of training, I continually get muscle tears in certain areas and my knee is not able to cope.

"So I was advised I wouldn’t be able to play football for much longer if I did manage to get back fit.”

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“The club have been fantastic and the support I have had around me has been amazing.

“I’m very proud of the things that I have achieved here. I’m sad that there wasn’t more, but later in life I’ll be able to look back on the memories I have, of playing against Inter Milan, being around a Premier League team and travelling with the squad and the passion of the fans at the games.”

As well heading for loan spells with Southend United and Middlesbrough, McQueen progressed through the Saints’ academy system, and went on to make 29 appearances for the club between 2013 and 2018.

“Everyone at Southampton Football Club would like to issue their heartfelt thanks to Sam for his incredible commitment and efforts as a Saints player, as well as for the way he has conducted himself off the pitch,” a statement released by the club said.

“He will continue to have our support and will be a shining example for all young players coming through the club’s Academy.

“We wish him the very best for the future and have no doubt he will be successful in whatever he chooses to do.”

  • Southampton FC
  • Premier League

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