Watford are interested in signing Manchester United defender Ethan Laird on a season-long loan deal, reports The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell. The Hornets are in the market for a new right-back ahead of the start of the Championship season.
Watford have opened talks with Manchester United over signing Ethan Laird on loan. Young right-back did well on tour but needs regular minutes.
— Laurie Whitwell (@lauriewhitwell) July 28, 2022
Watford in Talks With Manchester United Over Ethan Laird Deal
Laird Attracting Interest After Decent Pre-season Display
The young right-back was part of the Red Devils’ pre-season tour of Asia and was also involved in a number of matches. He looked sharp and composed for Erik ten Hag’s side, making appearances in wins over Melbourne City and Crystal Palace. But he’s still not experienced enough to compete for that regular position at Old Trafford yet.
United are ready to let him leave on loan to gain more experience elsewhere. Watford are currently looking to sign a new home-grown wing-back and are in talks with the Manchester giants over signing him until the end of the 2022/23 season.
Laird’s Impressive Spell in Championship Last Season
The 20-year-old had a few loan spells at two different Championship clubs last season. He initially joined Swansea City on loan at the start of the 2021/22 season. Laird put in encouraging performances for the Swans, impressing manager Russell Martin in his debut against Stoke City itself – with the gaffer praising him for ‘adding energy to the crowd and teammates’ despite losing the game 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 to promotion hopefuls Bournemouth, with whom he made six appearances and played a part in helping them get promoted to the Premier League.
With Watford now themselves looking to get straight back into England’s top flight, they believe an energetic, diligent full-back like Laird can greatly improve their chances of doing so. They still have to convince both United and the player over the loan move, but if the Hornets can promise regular playing time for the right-back, they might be able to rope in the talented 20-year-old to improve their backline.
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