Manchester United youngster Ethan Laird has joined Championship leaders Bournemouth on loan for the rest of the season.
Laird, who turned 20 in August, spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Swansea, making 20 Championship appearances for the club and sufficiently impressing to get the call to join the Cherries at the other end of the table.
The talented right-back had also previously earned good reviews while on loan at MK Dons in League One last season. The move south is the logical next step in what is clearly an upward trajectory.
Laird made two Europa League appearances for United in 2019, although this season has represented his first at Championship level.
“Ethan is an exciting prospect and we are very pleased to have brought him on board. His style of play fits perfectly with ours and I’m confident he can help us build on what has been an excellent first half of the season,” Bournemouth chief executive Neil Blake said.
“He has impressed during his two previous loan spells and is very well thought of at Manchester United, so we couldn’t be happier to have secured his services.”
If Laird can command a regular place for Bournemouth over the coming months as they look to secure a return to the Premier League, it bodes well for his overall development ahead of next season when he himself might expect to get his first chance in the top flight.
Whether that be with Bournemouth, on loan at a different club or an opportunity to compete for a place with his parent club remains to be seen.
United have lacked quality at right-back this season, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka underwhelming with his performances over a consistent period and falling out of favour with Ralf Rangnick. That has given Diogo Dalot a reprieve, but neither has particularly impressed.