Ethan Laird | It's about trust, and I loved working with Russell
Ethan Laird has spoken of how his trust and belief in head coach Russell Martin played a key part in his move to Swansea City.
The 20-year- Manchester United defender has joined the Swans on loan for the remainder of the 2021-22 season, subject to international clearance.
He takes on the number 27 shirt and becomes the sixth signing of the summer transfer window.
Laird previously worked with the Swans boss during a loan spell with MK Dons last season, and highlighted the strides he felt he made there, and the style of play, as factors in his decision to reject offers from elsewhere to come to the Swans.
“I am buzzing, I cannot wait to get started and get out on the pitch,” said Laird, who watched the Swans draw with Sheffield United at the Swansea.com Stadium on Saturday night.
“This is a big club, a very big club, and the type of club I want to play for. I played here once before at the stadium when I was 16 (for Manchester United Under-23s) and I really enjoyed it.
“It was exciting to watch the game against Sheffield United, the fans here are intense and I cannot wait to play in front of them.
“I just want to get out there and experience it.
“I also love working with Russell and I just know he can get the best out of me. The big thing about him is trust. When I came in from United, he told me exactly how it was straight away.
“I just learnt so much in that short amount of time, it was unbelievable so I knew if I worked with him again, I could continue to improve and develop.
“I love the style of play. I think it is the best way to play football, it is entertaining, and it is how you want to see your team play, getting those passes in. That’s what I enjoy and that’s why I am here.”
Laird has been on United’s books since the age of nine, and has two first-team appearances under his belt for the Red Devils after featuring in Europa League games against Astana and AZ Alkmaar during the 2019-20 season.
And he has highlighted one of the members of the Old Trafford club’s ‘Class of 92’ as one of the key figures in his career path.
“A number of people have helped me, from coaches to players who have been fundamental,” he said.
“Nicky Butt has been a big one, he trusted me as a youngster to play with older players and teams.
“Kieran McKenna (assistant first-team coach) is now in the first team but he was great for me with the under-18s. There are so many I could mention, Clayton Blackmore is another, but this will be a long interview if I name everyone!”
There are familiar faces in the Swans changing room to greet Laird, who knows Morgan Whittaker and Tivonge Rushesha, while he spoke to former Swan Daniel James about his time in SA1 before making the move to South Wales.
“Jamo is a good lad and gave me a little debrief on the club,” added Laird.
“He is a great player, he was successful here and I hope to do the same. He only had good things to say.”