Watford start talks with Manchester United over loan deal for young right-back

Watford have reportedly opened talks with Manchester United over signing Ethan Laird on a season-long loan.

The young full-back has made two appearances on the pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia, but The Athletic claim Watford are keen to loan him out next season.

Another stint in the Championship could benefit the youngster unless Erik ten Hag thinks he is ready to compete with Diogo Dalot for a place in the team.

Laurie Whitwell writes: “Which opened talks with United over Laird, with a season-long loan being discussed. Laird, who has performed well on the club’s tour of Thailand and Australia, is to be given regular minutes after a promising time at Swansea City and AFC Bournemouth last season.

The report also states that AC Milan and AS Roma are interested in Eric Bailly.

Laird, 20, had a good spell at Swansea City during the first half of last season. Then, for the second half, he joined Bournemouth and didn’t get much game time.

It would be very beneficial for Laird if he could go through a season without serious injury. As a young right-back, who likes to push forward, there’s no reason he shouldn’t have a future at United under Erik ten Hag.

Another loan spell in the Championship – along with regular first-team football – could give Laird the experience he needs to get going. We all saw how it did James Garner a lot of good last season as Nottingham Forest secured promotion to the Premier League.

Laird has a bright future ahead of him if he can stop the injuries that are hampering his development.

Dorothy H. Lewis