“It’s not a decision that was driven by him” – Championship coach ‘gutted’ as Manchester United take ‘disappointing’ call on youngster out on loan

Manchester United have recalled full-back from Swansea City
Manchester United have recalled full-back from Swansea City
Caleb Kay

Swansea City manager Russell Martin has been left unimpressed by the manner in which Manchester United recalled young loanee Ethan Laird to Old Trafford.

Laird has left Swansea but will not join Manchester United. Instead, he will be loaned out to Bournemouth. It has upset Martin, whose team has won just once in the last five games.

They will now have to find a replacement for the 20-year-old right-back.

ℹ️ Ethan Laird has been recalled from his spell at Swansea and will join Bournemouth on loan for the remainder of 2021/22, subject to registration. All the best, Ethan! 👊#MUFC | #MUAcademy

The Cherries are in first position in the Championship and have genuine hopes of playing in the Premier League next season. In contrast, Swansea are 17th in the table, a massive 22 points behind the leaders.

Although Laird played regularly for the Swans, a move to the Championship leaders was deemed a better opportunity in fast-tracking his development.

Russell knows Laird well from their time together at MK Dons last season but that partnership has now been cut short abruptly, leaving the coach gutted.

The Swansea City manager said:

"Very disappointed. Disappointed that we didn’t know much about it, or anything about it. It’s not a position we were looking to recruit in. The lack of notice was a bit of an issue, but it is what it is. That’s the issue with loan players, when you have a loan player and he does well."

He added:

"He’s spent a year with us [at MK Dons and Swansea] and I think he’s grown incredibly in that time. He’s been a really good performer for us this season, his first season in the Championship."

He further said:

"But his parent club have decided it’s better for him to go and play in a slightly different position with a different club in this league who are fighting hard for promotion. That’s their prerogative. That is the danger you have with loan players."
"We’re gutted, on a personal level, we get on really well. It’s not a decision that was driven by him. He’s not looked to go, it was brought to him by the club."

The Manchester United fullback is known for his attacking prowess

Ethan Laird of Manchester United playing for Swansea City v Cardiff City - Sky Bet Championship
Ethan Laird of Manchester United playing for Swansea City v Cardiff City - Sky Bet Championship

Laird's tenacity and attacking skill will surely be missed at the Liberty Stadium. In his 21 appearances for Swansea City, the full-back weighed in with four assists. He had three assists in the 20 games he played in League One last season.

Martin pointed out Laird's enormous contribution to Swansea:

"He’ll be a loss to us on and off the pitch. He has an infectious personality and he’s had some brilliant performances, but we are now in a position where we need to replace that, and it’s probably become a priority for us because we’ve lost a player who was playing week in week out."

He added:

"The rest of the plan outside that hasn't changed in terms of where we want to add. Hopefully we’ll have some news on that very soon."

Often deployed as a wing-back at Swansea, Laird has been tipped to make similar progress to that of Chelsea star Reece James. In the 2018/2019 season, James played 46 times for Wigan Athletic before staking his claim in Chelsea's starting 11.

Ethan Laird is going to be Manchester United’s right back for the next decade. Aggressive, exceptional defensively & an excellent attacking outlet down the right flank. He's been one of the standout performers Russell Martin's Swansea this season & will push AWB next season.

Should Laird play well for Bournemouth, then he could be battling Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot for Manchester United's right-back spot next season.

Edited by Diptanil Roy
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