Ethan Laird set to join Watford

Manchester United prospect Ethan Laird is reportedly set to join Championship club Watford on a season-long loan deal.

According to a report by Manchester Evening News, Manchester United prospect Ethan Laird is set to join Watford on a year-long loan. This will be the 20-year-old right-back’s third loan spell with an EFL Championship club after having represented Swansea City and Bournemouth.

Ethan Laird is a Manchester United youth product and rose through the ranks to earn his first-team debut in the 2019/20 season, where he played in the UEFA Europa League no less. He impressed in the few chances that he was afforded. And to continue his development, Manchester United sent the youngster out on loan to MK Dons in the 2020 summer transfer window.

Then, with Diogo Dalot returning from his loan spell with AC Milan loan and Aaron Wan-Bissaka already in the squad as the first-choice right-back, chances were going to come few and far between for Laird last summer. Swansea City came to the rescue, taking him on a year-long deal to the EFL Championship last summer.

He was a regular for the Welsh club, making 20 appearances in the Championship before his loan spell was cut short and he joined Bournemouth in January instead. Laird turned out just six times for the Cherries and has now returned to Manchester United following his latest spell away from Old Trafford.

Laird travelled on Manchester United’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia and looked at ease. But with Dalot and Wan-Bissaka still at the club, and Manchester United reportedly on the hunt for another right-back, Laird is set for another loan spell away from Old Trafford.

Watford, who suffered relegation from the Premier League in the 2021/22 season, have emerged as the favourites for the young defensive prospect’s signature and are set to sign him on loan for the upcoming campaign. Ajax were also said to be interested in the English youngster.

For now, Dalot is Erik ten Hag’s preferred choice for the right-back slot, but Manchester United are said to be eager to strengthen the department. Inter Milan’s Denzel Dumfries has recently been linked with a move to Old Trafford.

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