Medical expert: McQueen may land new Southampton role after official announcement
A coaching or scouting role at Southampton may await Sam McQueen following his retirement from football aged just 26.
So says injury expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in medicine and data analysis.
The Saints confirmed last Saturday (1 January) that the former left-back has hung up his boots after battling an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Southampton-born McQueen said: “I so desperately want to play football again but I have to do what is right by me and my family.”
The academy graduate leaves the club having reached the end of a six-month deal signed in July (2021).
But Dinnery suggests that it may not be the end of his journey at St. Mary’s.
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“A lot of bad luck is one of the main factors,” he told Football Insider‘s Adam Williams.
“When we talk about ACL reconstruction, it’s fairly easy to be blasé about the outcomes. With minor surgery, there are always risks associated.
“He had an infection post-op and wasn’t able to flush it out of his knee, so they had to do the surgery again.
“All of the time and effort up to that point effectively went out of the window because they had to open it up and clean it out again.
“By his own admission, he was maybe mentally not in the right place. It’s tough, it’s a lonesome road.
“He’s been at the club for 18 years. It’s all he’s known, all day, every day for most of his life.
“If you can’t be a part of it, that fight and drive and ability to cope and tolerate training at the highest level might diminish.
“You have to train as you play. You have to condition yourself to protect your body.
“He was told that he’s been out so long that he would probably continually suffer setbacks.
“You look at the long-term implications of putting your body through that and that then calls into question your quality of life after football.
“He’s got such a long-standing relationship with the club, maybe he’ll have a chance to be involved in a coaching role, with the development teams, or scouting.
“Now is an opportunity for him to take a step away, recalibrate, refresh, forget about football for a bit and return with a new focus.”
McQueen made 29 appearances for the Saints in total.
He also spent time out on loan with Southend United as well as Middlesbrough, where he sustained the injury that ended his career.