Ethan Laird has picked up a shoulder injury while playing for MK Dons on loan.
The super-talented right-back has already made his first-team debut. Heading into this season, I seriously thought Laird could be backing up Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Sadly, that wasn’t to be, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer likely deeming Laird not ready for regular football at the highest level. In the end, the 19-year-old would head to MK Dons on loan.
So fair, Laird has made fifteen starts for MK Dons, impressing greatly in that time. Now, though, the loanee has suffered an injury to his shoulder. After the game, his manager, Russell Martin, confirmed that he ‘gets kicked a lot’ because of his talent.
“Ethan gets kicked a lot because he’s a threat. He’s taken some really physical treatment in the last couple of games, and tonight he landed funny on his shoulder.” Martin said after the game, per the Manchester Evening News.
“I thought he might have to come off, but it was strapped up by [physio] Simon Crampton at half time and it kept him going for a bit.
“But he’s exhausted as well. It’s his first loan playing first team football in a team that demands so much of him with a lot of physical demand. I think he deserved a break for the last half an hour.”
It’s easy to forget that Laird is still only 19 with the footballing world still at his feet. Although his shoulder is probably feeling extremely sore this morning, the Englishman must be feeling good about his career trajectory.
Make no mistake about it, he’s amongst MK Dons’ best players right now, with Laird looking extremely impressive – particularly when on the offensive.
I don’t doubt that Solskjaer is watching on keenly, enjoying what Laird is doing for the League One outfit. You’d imagine the long-term plan is to have Laird backing up Aaron Wan-Bissaka, pushing his fellow Englishman hard for the starting role.
This summer is massive for Laird. If there’s a pre-season, he’ll definitely be involved with the first-team during that, with a view to the teenager becoming an integral part of the squad at some point in the 2021/22 term.
Whisper it quietly but I still believe this young man is seriously going to push Wan-Bissaka for that starting job. I’d firmly state he’s already better than Diogo Dalot, too.
Is Ethan Laird good enough for the Man United first-team? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.