Manchester United need no introduction as a football club. They are one of world football’s elite outfits.

Manchester United are always there or thereabouts when it comes to challenging for honours. They’ve just bolstered their first-team squad with the £73million capture of England star Jadon Sancho.

However, as detailed by Manchester Evening News reporter Samuel Luckhurst (tweet below), and publicised by the Red Devils website, not all signings are that high-profile.

As Luckhurst (above) has tweeted, former Manchester United academy defender Paul McShane has been re-signed for the club. This comes after his release by Rochdale at the start of this month.

McShane has had a journeyman career since Manchester United sold him to West Brom in August 2006. He then signed less than a year later for Sunderland in a big-money move.

Since then he’s played for the likes of Hull City (136 appearances), Barnsley (10 appearances) and Reading (103 appearances). He last played for Spotland outfit Rochdale where he made 37 appearances after they picked him up following his Reading release.

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His release by Rochdale saw 35-year-old McShane on the free-agent pile at the beginning of this month. However, Manchester United’s move for him comes with a certain plan in mind.

McShane has been snapped up by the Old Trafford outfit as a permanent player for their Under-23s – one of three over-age players allowed.

The Red Devil’s Head of Academy, Nick Cox, said that McShane “is the perfect candidate” for a role the club sees as “an innovative approach.


It is certainly a jump from the free-agent pile via a Rochdale release to a guaranteed starting role at Manchester United. A guaranteed starting role that is with the Under-23s.

That’s what will be facing Paul McShane. He will mix turning out for the Under-23s and being part of the coaching staff with a specialised on-field aspect.

Still, the Red Devils will know what they are doing and what they are getting. What they are getting is a seasoned pro in McShane. A seasoned pro with 233 Championship, 98 Premier League and 39 League One appearances to his name.