Manchester United youngster Ethan Laird is going to be a player in demand this summer.

Laird has made 17 appearances for MK Dons on loan since signing in January.

The 19-year-old right-back has three assists and is making a good impression.

Burnley v Milton Keynes Dons - FA Cup Third Round
(Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Manager Russell Martin says he would like to re-sign Laird next season, although admits it will be tough.

Martin told the MK Citizen: “We’ll try! So much has to fall into place. It comes down to Manchester United first of all, and then Ethan and his representatives. He had Championship interest at the start of the season before he got injured. We’ll have to see.

“Of course conversations have already started but a lot of things will need to fall into place, and Manchester United will want to have a really good look at him when he goes back as well.

“We love Ethan – he has been fantastic. He has only improved since he got here. We’re really pleased with him, as are Manchester United with how he has been treated. He has a lot to work on, but he’s got all the attributes to be a really top player.”

United have a call to make

It’s unlikely United will be keen for Laird to return to MK Dons despite the fact he has played so well there and been given such trust.

The hope is for Laird to progress, and wherever he plays next season, it should be at a higher level than League One.

 

There is potential Laird is integrated into the Manchester United first team set up as a back-up and competitor for Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Laird has attacking qualities Wan-Bissaka lacks, and United have to assess whether he has the overall game to stand up to Premier League level.

There are added factors too, with the futures of Diogo Dalot and Brandon Williams needing resolving, while United could still choose to sign another right-back.

Alternative solutions include sending Laird to a Championship side, a Premier League club, or a foreign team.

The 19-year-old is under contract at United until 2023. His future next season will depend on how he impresses in pre-season.

While MK Dons seems unlikely as a destination for him in 2021/22, it is good to hear of their interest as it speaks volumes of the impact he has made there so far, and offers encouragement for United to test him at an even higher level and see if he can rise to the challenge.

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