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Ethan Laird from Man Utd to AFC Bournemouth: Is it a good move? Would he start? What does he offer?

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Manchester United are set to recall right wing-back Ethan Laird from Swansea City and send him back out on loan to their Championship rivals AFC Bournemouth, according to The Athletic.

The 20-year-old reunited with Russell Martin and made the step up to the Swans in the summer after spending last term in League One with Milton Keynes Dons – and has been one of the first names on the teamsheet in South Wales during what has been a reasonably successful loan spell so far.

Making 20 league appearances so far this season, his arrival was much-needed with Welsh international Connor Roberts leaving the club for top-tier side Burnley on deadline day in the previous transfer window.

Quiz: Can you name which club AFC Bournemouth signed these 20 strikers from?

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Lys Mousset?

Playing as a wing-back, he has been given the license to get forward despite needing to attend to his defensive responsibilities on occasions, establishing himself as a key part of Martin’s plans during the club’s transition phase.

However, his time there looks set to come to an end as he prepares to join Scott Parker’s Cherries on the south coast, a team that are firm favourites to clinch automatic promotion back to the top flight after recent victories against Queens Park Rangers and Cardiff City.

Ahead of this imminent switch, we’re assessing whether this is a good move for the promotion favourites as we answer three key questions.

Is it a good move?

From the Cherries’ perspective, this is a great signing and one that’s low-risk considering this deal is only a loan.

So if this move doesn’t work out for the best, he’s someone they will only have to keep for a number of months with no risk of the full-back being on their wage bill for the long term.

Sticking to the theme of finances, parent club United may even be paying a chunk of his wages despite the promotion chasers offering a better deal to Ralf Rangnick’s men than Swansea, making this signing even more of a no-brainer for Parker’s side who may want to invest more in other areas.

If this move does work out, they may be able to tie him down on a permanent deal considering he’s 20 with little prospect of getting into his parent outfit’s first-team squad at this stage, something Bournemouth would probably be able to afford if they were promoted to the Premier League at the end of the season.

Would he start?

Perhaps not straight away, but this is a very interesting question to delve into.

How regularly he starts may not be down to performances alone, but also potential clauses in the second-tier side’s loan agreement with the Red Devils with the latter probably keen to see him in action as much as possible to see whether he can earn a spot in their senior squad next term.

With his prospective loan side offering to pay a higher loan fee and percentage of his salary, they may have been able to avoid a dreaded clause like that but it would be hard to see United only making that decision because of finances without thinking about the player’s pitch time too.

Despite this, Jack Stacey is one of the first names on the teamsheet at this moment in time and after keeping a clean sheet against Cardiff on Thursday evening, manager Parker may be reluctant to rock the boat.

The absence of Adam Smith, who is currently recovering from knee surgery, could give him plenty of first-team opportunities though.

What does he offer?

The right-sided player certainly isn’t afraid to get forward and has become accustomed to being more attacking as a wing-back under Russell Martin, so he would be a real wide threat to have along with the likes of Jordan Zemura and Jaidon Anthony.

Ryan Christie may also benefit from having a wide play to give him more space and take opponents out of the game, because the ex-Celtic man often likes to cut inside and Laird being high up the pitch out may give him more sights of goal.

He scored his first goal for the club against Cardiff and will be hoping to score more in the coming games to give him more confidence.

The main benefit of the Manchester United man plying his trade under Martin at Swansea and MK Dons is the fact he will be confident playing an attractive brand of football, something he will become even more accustomed to under Parker at the Vitality so this composure on the ball and his time with the ex-Norwich City man can only be a good thing.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Ethan Laird from Man Utd to AFC Bournemouth: Is it a good move? Would he start? What does he offer?

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