Wigan Athletic Academy product joins England colleague at League One rivals

Port Vale will field a Wigan Athletic Academy central midfield for the second half of the campaign after landing Jensen Weir on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion.
Jensen Weir has joined former Latics team-mate Alfie Devine at Port ValeJensen Weir has joined former Latics team-mate Alfie Devine at Port Vale
Jensen Weir has joined former Latics team-mate Alfie Devine at Port Vale

The 21-year-old – who moved from Wigan to Brighton shortly after Latics were placed into administration in the summer of 2020 – spent the first half of the season on loan at Blackpool, having enjoyed a superb campaign last season out at Morecambe.

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And his arrival at Vale Park sees him link up with Alfie Devine, who is on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, who also took advantage of Latics’ financial difficulties three-and-a-half years ago.

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It's understood both players were high on Shaun Maloney's wanted list, but the vastly reduced budget at the DW was unable to stretch to either.

“I am absolutely delighted to welcome Jensen to the club," said Vale manager Andy Crosby. “He is a player of real quality that we have kept tabs on for quite a while now, especially following his time at Morecambe last season.

"He has a fantastic drive to improve himself every day both on and off the pitch and possesses each of the personal qualities required to be a member of our squad here at Port Vale.

“Jensen comes in and immediately provides strong competition for places across our midfield, and we look forward to working closely with him as we move into the second half of the season.

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“I would personally like to thank Brighton for trusting us to develop one of their younger players and it continues our relationships with top Premier League clubs.

“These clubs are seeing our style of play and want their best young talents to come to play at Port Vale as a result.”

Port Vale director of football David Flitcroft added: “We are grateful to Brighton for allowing us to loan one of their highly rated prospects.

“We have monitored Jensen for over 18 months and when you look at a player going out on loan, you want to see what impact they have.

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"Jenson’s impact in League One, scoring 10 goals and creating 6 assists is a testament to his contribution at this level.

“Jenson has been recruited to fit our style of play and bolster our midfield options that have been decimated due to Ollie Arblaster returning to Sheffield United and the unfortunate injuries to Funso Ojo and Ben Garrity.

“His work at Morecambe in particular led us to pursue him in the summer and, unfortunately, we just missed out. But we are delighted he has now decided to join us for the second half of the campaign.

“We believe there has been strong competition for Jensen’s signature from clubs at League One level.

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"But he has decided to come to us and I think that is a testament to the work we have done in the first half of the season with our loan signings and our style of play has demonstrated Port Vale is a well-placed home for the Premier League’s young talent.”