Ethan Laird is quickly becoming one of the most exciting young players in the EFL as he goes from strength to strength under Russell Martin’s tutelage at Swansea City
The Manchester United loanee enjoyed a spell with Martin’s Milton Keynes Dons in the second half of last season and so it seemed like a sensible step up to rejoin the Scotsman in South Wales.
Outside of standout performers Jamie Paterson and Joel Piroe, Laird has been one the Swans’ best players in their resurgence this term and seems to be improving with every game.
Laird gave an insight into his decision to go on loan from the Red Devils when he spoke to The Athletic.
He said: “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.
“I learnt a lot at MK and because of that, I knew if I was to go with him (Russell Martin) again there was a high chance of me learning once more. He spoke about his plans with me. The staff as well are great. It was kind of a no brainer, to be honest.”
It is notoriously difficult to break through to the first team as a younger player at a top Premier League academy but Laird clearly believes in his own ability.
Quiz: 28 questions about some of Swansea City’s most expensive signings – Can you score 100% on this?
The future looks very bright for the 20-year-old who could go on to provide a different option to the defensive solidity of Aaron Wan-Bissaka at Old Trafford in years to come. Laird excelled last season in the third tier and is doing similarly well in the second tier this term, his contract with the Red Devils runs out in the summer of 2023 so it feels like a longer term decision will be made at the end of the current campaign.
The ambition is clearly there, as is present at Swansea with Russell Martin, there is a chance Laird could realise his top-flight ambitions in South Wales provided he remains there beyond this season. The Swans are currently just three points off of the top six with plenty of time left to build a credible promotion push.