Manchester United loanee Ethan Laird is enjoying life at Swansea City after making a promising start to his loan spell.
The 20 year old has taken the EFL Championship by storm. Despite a difficult start to the season, Swansea have won three of their last five games, moving up to 12th.
After a short loan spell at MK Dons in January, Laird joined the Swans to gain needed experience in the Championship.
Ahead of his game against Coventry City, Laird stated: “Me going out on loan when I did was important. It got to a point where nobody was really seeing what I could do any more.
“It had been quite a big gap of injuries. I knew I needed to put myself back on the stage. A few people were like, ‘League One?’ But it’s men’s football.’
“You have to go out and show you’re capable of it. Because if you’re not, you can’t play in the Prem.”
After impressing during his short stint at MK Dons, Laird had plenty of options in terms of loan clubs.
One of the most significant factors in choosing Swansea was his excellent relationship with Russell Martin.
Laird thrives as a wing-back in Martin’s 3-4-3 with the license to go forward and utilise his athletic abilities.
Despite being known for his attacking prowess, the Englishman said he is developing his game without the ball.
“Defend first is the role of a full-back. If you don’t get done one v one, you’ll come out with the ball. It is different with wing-back as I’m not in a defensive position a lot of the time, but there is a lot of running to do to get back.
“I’ll be up high pressing; then, if it gets switched in behind, I’m the one who has to run another 80 yards to get back.
“Then you do get isolated one v one quite a few times. As you’re running back, the other centre-back will drop in central, so you deal with the situation as if you are a right-back.
“I’ve been enjoying that. It is good for me, fitness-wise, and knowing how to defend when you are tired.”
Laird’s enthusiasm on and off the pitch has already made him a fan-favourite at Swansea.
With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer already hinting at a change in formation, Laird could be an option for Man Utd, who can recall him in January.
Many believe that Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s inability to sustain attacks down the right-wing hinder the 3-5-2 formation.
“I am trying to go to the top with Man United; this helps,” Laird says. “Stepping stones, you know.
“Man United like to have the ball and be fast on the attack, and that style of play is implemented at Swansea.”
Laird is an exciting prospect for the future and can develop into another one of United’s academy stars!