QPR manager praises Manchester United loanee who could solve club’s right-back conundrum

Queens Park Rangers manager Neil Critchley was full of praise for Manchester United loanee Ethan Laird. 

Laird has been at United since he was 10 years old and has gradually worked his way through the academy ranks at Carrington. He made his first-team debut under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2019; a Europa League clash against Kazakhstan in November. The manager travelled with a team filled with several youth players.

The 21-year-old is an exciting prospect for the Red Devils, he is a pacey right-back who can also be deployed as a wing-back and has shown great defensive attributes. He has completed loan spells at MK Dons, Swansea City and AFC Bournemouth.

Erik ten Hag is currently facing a right-back conundrum within the squad; Diogo Dalot is his first-choice and has started every game this season except one, in which he faced a one-match suspension. Aaron Wan-Bissaka seemingly does not fit Ten Hag’s style of play, as he has made just one four-minute cameo this season and has been told by the club he is allowed to leave.

Critchley’s comments on Laird

Due to this, there has been speculation regarding whether or not United will recall Laird from his season-long loan in the winter transfer window, to bolster the squad for the hectic schedule ahead.

However, Critchley believes the youngster should see out the campaign with QPR. He said (via West London Sport): “In any 12-month loan there is a natural break around mid-season that applies to all players but Ethan has been having a fantastic season here, playing every single week. I am sure Manchester United will be happy with Ethan and the way he’s been playing and his development. My aim is to carry that on.

“I see myself as someone who can coach players to improve in the team they are playing in. Ethan is someone I have been aware of for many years coming through at United, and I tried to sign him previously at Blackpool, which didn’t happen, so I am pleased he is here and hopefully is for the rest of the season.”

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