Man Utd have a gem in their hands that could save them millions and solve their long-standing transfer problem
“They think it’s a great place for Ethan to continue to develop and learn, and so do we. As long as he can keep doing what he’s doing, training hard, and he finds real consistency now, which is really good. I think the fans like it, the boys really like it and that’s what it is. “
The words of Swansea City head coach Russell Martin ahead of their 1-0 victory over Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
The subject, of course, was Ethan Laird, the Manchester United youngster who made such a good impression in South Wales in such a short time.
Martin has consistently insisted on recruiting players who not only fit his system, but fit the squad as well.
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Laird ticks both boxes, his relationship with the head coach dating back to the days of MK Dons.
“The Ethan who walked through the door of MK Dons is very different from Ethan Laird now, in terms of the way he plays and behaves on a daily basis,” explained the Swansea boss.
“I had a brilliant discussion with his dad when he signed here. His dad is really grateful for the amount of work and time we put into Ethan and the way we treat him as a person. He really grew up.
“He’s a brilliant character, a real extrovert, a really confident boy in a really humble way. He’s brilliant for the group, especially the young people because he’s an old head on young shoulders.
“No matter the game, he plays with real intensity. He has a little bit of bragging about and that comes from a great club. But, again, it’s in a respectful way because he just wants to be a good player. .
“We’ve loved him since day one at MK Dons, he’s been brilliant for us there and that’s why we were so keen to bring him here.
“He had a lot of interest from this league because of what he did last year, and the only reason he came here is because he trusts us, he enjoys working with us and he understands his role very clearly. So I’m really happy. we’ve had him and he’s now showing what he can bring, but there’s definitely more to come from him. “
A full season at the championship level is the next thing for Laird to master.
Over forty games for a player his age – he’s only 20, remember – will be instrumental in his education as a flying winger.
Against the Terriers, he was quite the marauding offensive defender, pushing supporters to the edge of their seats every time he received the ball. It’s players like Laird who alone are worth the price of admission.
He is quickly becoming a fan favorite and one of the first names on the squad sheet.
His near term future lies in South Wales, but in the long term he will consider a return role at Old Trafford.
Ole right-back Gunnar Solskjaer’s options currently are Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot, with calls for the latter to be given a sideways run ahead of the increasingly strong former.
Wan-Bissaka has seen red in Europe recently and although he did well in the surprise loss to Aston Villa on Saturday, the right-back is an area that has yet to be defined in Solskjaer’s system. , although they spent £ 50million on the former Crystal. The man of the palace.
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United were linked with a mega cash move for Kieran Trippier over the summer, but at 31 and with a price tag in the order of £ 35million it doesn’t make sense to sue the former defender of Tottenham.
The pockets run deep at clubs like Manchester United, but at Laird they have a local gem in their hands that could save them millions and provide cover and even competition at the back for years to come.
Before joining Swansea on loan, Laird maintained his ambition was to make a name for himself at Old Trafford.
“Yeah, sure. I mean, this is the club I am at and this is where I want to be,” he said.
“Who knows, I can’t really give you a precise answer on my future yet, but I know my long-term goal is to establish myself with United. Let’s just see what happens in the summer. “
Swansea will be Laird’s beneficiaries this season, of course. This is the perfect example of the loan system working at its best. The player gets minutes, the loan team gets a talented youngster for a season, and the parent club will once again welcome a more complete individual with games under their belt at a decent level.
Like Marc Guehi before him, Laird is already showing that he is a Premier League player in the making. Nothing is guaranteed at a big club like Manchester United, but if he continues on the same trajectory, Solskjaer will have another exciting option in his hands that could resolve his headache.
For now, Swansea can benefit from one of the league’s most exciting talents.
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