Earlier this week, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed Ethan Laird would link up with the Manchester United first-team squad in the wake of a defensive injury crisis.
The mega-talented young defender actually made his debut in the Europa League before the turn of the year, as he looked pretty good on a cameo against AZ Alkmaar.
Now, he’s looking to make an impact in the longer-term and I wouldn’t bet against him. Simply put, he’s a fantastic young player with the world at his feet. Although Brandon Williams made his breakthrough before Laird, there’s a reason why the former is now playing at left-back – he couldn’t get in the team over on the right ahead of Laird.
Well, Solskjaer has been true to his word and today, the talented 18-year-old United starlet was snapped with the first-team squad ahead of the game away at Aston Villa.
Check out the Ethan Laird first-team training photo here:
Sure, Laird won’t start at Villa Park tomorrow night, but the fact that he’s now in and around the squad is only a good thing. After all, he’ll be training day-in-day-out with some of the best players in the business, which will help Laird kick his game up a notch.
I’d imagine he’ll be with the travelling party that heads down to Birmingham tomorrow, though. That’s largely due to the fact that United now have five substitutes at their disposal per game, and they’re allowed to utilise those subs from a bigger bench.
For me, I can’t help but feel that it’s going to be tough for Laird to displace Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the short-term. However, I don’t see him having a problem getting ahead of Diogo Dalot. The Laird-AWB tandem is one that could work wonderfully-well as both are suited to completely different games…