Manchester United’s loan army are enjoying a positive start to 2021.
Ethan Laird is another young player who is making a strong impression, on his first loan spell away from United.
Laird has been at MK Dons and he was picked out for praise by manager Russell Martin after his weekend performance.
Martin told MK Don’s website of Laird: “Brilliant. The difference between him in his first game and today is miles apart.”
Crucial to Laird’s development
Laird has been playing at wing-back and this has allowed him to explore the attacking side of his game.
In MK Dons draw with Sunderland at the weekend, Laird created three chances, while also stepping up defensively by making four interceptions.
This taste of senior football is crucial for Laird, who is just 19-years-old.
So far for MK Dons he has played five times, and already has an assist to his name. His side sit 16th out of 24 teams in the division.
A chance to influence United’s future
Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s status as United’s right-back is not under threat. However it is a widely shared view that he needs competition.
Diogo Dalot is out on loan at AC Milan, and Laird at MK Dons. Between them, and current back-up Brandon Williams, the trio are competing to show they can be viable alternatives.
Laird perhaps has the highest ceiling of the three, and so it is important to see him playing regularly and earning praise.
There is a long way to go, but Laird has the potential to save United money in the transfer market if he returns in the summer ready to compete for a first team spot.
Manchester United loan exits 20/21
- Aliou Traore
SM Caen (season)
- Joel Pereira
Huddersfield Town (season)
- Andreas Pereira
- Diogo Dalot
AC Milan (season)
- Di’Shon Bernard
Salford City (until end of season)
- Jake Carney
- Ethan Laird
MK Dons (Jan to end of season)
- Jesse Lingard
West Ham (Jan to end of season)
- James Garner
Nottingham Forest (Jan to end of season)
- Tahith Chong
Club Brugge (Jan to end of season)
- Facundo Pellistri
Alaves (Jan to end of season)
- Teden Mengi
Derby (Jan to end of season)
- Dylan Levitt
NK Istra (Feb to end of season)
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