Manchester United have allowed defender Ethan Laird to join Championship outfit Queens Park Rangers on loan for the 2022-23 campaign.
The 21-year-old had been involved in his parent club’s preparations for the new season, and there had been suggestions that Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag was considering keeping hold of the Englishman to provide back-up for Diogo Dalot this season.
However, Laird will now spend the 2022-23 campaign on loan with QPR, and he could make his debut for the second-tier side against Blackpool on Tuesday night.
“The England Under-19 international will gain further experience in the Championship, continuing his progress in a new environment, whilst being closely monitored and supported by United staff,” read a statement on Man United’s official website.
“Everybody would like to wish Ethan the best of luck this term, as we follow his progress at Loftus Road.”
Laird, who has been with Man United since the age of 10, has only featured on two occasions for the Red Devils, with both appearances coming in the Europa League during the 2019-20 campaign.
The right-back represented MK Dons on loan in League One during the 2020-21 season, while he had spells at both Swansea City and Bournemouth in the Championship last term.
“It feels brilliant and I am delighted to get it over the line.I can’t wait to get started,” Laird told QPR’s official website. “You want love and care. Winning changing rooms need to have a real care for the players and I feel like on the pitch you will get the best from your players if they know they are going to be cared for.
“Another thing I look for is creativity – and it is in abundance here! I like to play with confidence and be exciting, and I feel I have the freedom to do that here. Sometimes you don’t want to come out of your comfort zone but you only become your best self when you do.
“You only find out what you are really like when you play football. Coming up against 6’5 players, coming up against beasts, you find ways to adapt and I feel like I have adapted well wherever I have gone and I am ready to kick on now.”
Meanwhile, QPR boss Michael Beale added: “Obviously it is nice to take a boy from Manchester United and for them to trust us with one of their best young players in terms of developing him onwards and upwards.
“He has done really well in the Championship already and I think he is someone we can be really excited about. It was important we waited for the right one who gives us a lot of options in terms of as a full-back, a wing-back and even higher up the pitch if needed.
“I like the full-backs to be an addition to our attack, and he provides that. He is very aggressive in terms of one-v-one attacking and he is capable of providing assists as well as goals. He is a young player who will fit in well to our changing room. We are delighted to have him.”
There is currently speculation surrounding the futures of Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka at Old Trafford, with both players said to be targets for Barcelona.
Dalot is widely expected to remain at Man United this summer, but a departure for Wan-Bissaka would lead to the Red Devils bringing in another right-back before the end of the window.