Manchester United in talks with Watford over Ethan Laird loan

Watford are interested in signing Manchester United defender Ethan Laird on a season-long loan, The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell reports. The Hornets are looking for a new right-back before the start of the league season.

Watford in talks with Manchester United over Ethan Laird deal

Laird is attracting interest after a decent pre-season display

The young right-back was part of the Red Devils’ pre-season tour of Asia and was involved in a number of games as well. He looked sharp and composed for Erik ten Hag’s side, making appearances in wins over Melbourne City and Crystal Palace. But he doesn’t yet have enough experience to compete for that regular job at Old Trafford.

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United are ready to let him go on loan to gain more experience elsewhere. Watford are currently looking to sign a new homegrown winger and are in talks with the Manchester giants to sign him until the end of the 2022/23 season.

Laird’s impressive spell in the Championship last season

The 20-year-old had a few loan spells at two different Championship clubs last season. He first joined Swansea City on loan at the start of the 2021/22 season. Laird put in an encouraging performance for the Swans, impressing manager Russell Martin on his debut against Stoke City himself – with the gaffer praising him for ‘add energy to the crowd and his team-mates’ despite losing 3 -1.

He made 21 appearances for Swansea until January when the Red Devils felt he deserved the opportunity to play for another club. The right-back was then loaned out to promotion hopefuls Bournemouth, with whom he made six appearances and was instrumental in helping them gain promotion to the Premier League.

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With Watford now looking to return directly to England’s top flight themselves, they believe an energetic and diligent full-back like Laird can greatly improve their chances of doing so. They have yet to convince United and the player to go on loan, but if the Hornets can promise regular playing time at right-back then they might be able to bring in the talented 20-year-old to improve their backline.

Dorothy H. Lewis