Parker impressed by United loanee Ethan Laird after making Bournemouth debut

Scott Parker was impressed with Ethan Laird after the Manchester United loanee finally made his Bournemouth debut.

The 20-year-old, who was included in the Cherries’ matchday squad for the first since joining last month, was Parker’s first substitution, coming on in the 73rd minute against Stoke City.

After joining the Premier League hopefuls on loan until the end of the season, Laird has been struggling with a hamstring injury for the last two months.

His last appearance came back on 11 December when he was on loan at Swansea City during the first half of the campaign.

Photo by Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images

The marauding full-back’s introduction on Saturday at the Vitality Stadium saw Parker change his system, where Laird effectively operated as a right winger.

“Yeah he did (impress),” said Parker afterwards via DorsetLive. “I was pleased for Ethan after he came on because he’s obviously not had a lot of football since he’s been here, so I was pleased for him.”

However, the right-back’s route to the Bournemouth starting line-up could prove to be a challenging one as fellow right-back Adam Smith also marked his return from injury in the 2-1 win against the Potters.

Smith had been out of action since suffering a reoccurrence of a knee injury against Fulham in early December.

Photo by Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images

It resulted in the 30-year-old having knee surgery. But despite not playing since 3 December, Parker opted to bring Smith straight back into the starting line-up, in place of Jack Stacey who has filled in during Smith’s absence.

Speaking on Smith, Parker said: “Adam Smith was back today as well. He brings big belief and big character with good experience. I also think he has huge quality as well.”

Parker’s comments on Smith indicate that he is the first-choice right-back and Laird is going to have to impress with every presented opportunity to oust his more senior teammate, who has played 144 games in the Premier League.

The Manchester United academy graduate will relish and rise to the challenge, but more importantly, Ethan Laird will be delighted to have finally made his Bournemouth debut after a frustrating start to life on the south coast.

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Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.