This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Watford are monitoring the situation surrounding Ethan Laird’s future at Manchester United.
According to The Athletic, the Hornets have offered the Red Devils a season long loan deal to sign the right back.
Here we ask our FLW writers their verdict on if the 20-year-old would be a good addition to Rob Edwards’ squad…
Ethan Laird is exactly the kind of player that Watford need at right wing-back to challenge Jeremy Ngakia for a starting spot.
Rob Edwards has a 3-5-2 system that he rarely deviates from – at least he didn’t when Forest Green Rovers manager – with his wing-backs providing a lot of creativity as Nicky Cadden and Kane Wilson did last season.
Laird proved at Swansea last season that he can be a real threat when given the license to bomb forward, and he would be given the opportunity to do so at the Hornets.
You can forget his stint with Bournemouth where he wasn’t given many opportunities – that shouldn’t be an issue if Watford get a deal done because he is definitely good enough to slot straight into that side at Vicarage Road.
And right now, their striking options are Emmanuel Dennis, Joao Pedro and Ismaila Sarr, which means Laird will have a lot to aim for if he’s whipping balls into the box – if that doesn’t get Watford’s fans juices flowing, then I don’t know what will.
This could turn out to be a shrewd move by Watford if they are able to convince Laird to make the switch to Vicarage Road this summer.
During his loan spell at Swansea City in the first half of the previous campaign, the defender managed to show some real signs of promise in the Championship.
Quiz: Can you remember the score the last time Watford played at these 26 stadiums?
In the 20 games that he played at this level for the Jacks, Laird made 1.5 tackles per fixture and won 1.4 aerial duels as he recorded an average WhoScored match rating of 6.81.
By delivering the goods on a consistent basis in a Watford shirt in the new term, the 20-year-old could help the club achieve a relative amount of success in the second-tier.
Laird had a mixed time of it on loan last season, performing quite well in the first half of the campaign with Swansea City.
But his switch to Bournemouth proved a mistake on Man United’s part as the defender never quite settled with the Cherries.
A move to Watford could be a good chance to get his development back on track.
He is a very exciting player who is great going forward with the ball. While his defensive work may need to be improved, that weakness should be covered well in Edwards’ 3-5-2 system, which should play more to his strengths.
If he is given a guarantee of consistent game time, then this could be a very exciting step forward in his career.