‘He was awesome’: Manager raves over 22-year-old after debut following Manchester United exit

After departing Manchester United earlier this summer, Ethan Laird made his debut for Birmingham City at the weekend.

Ethan Laird and Manchester United parted ways last month, with the young right-back eager to avoid being loaned out for the seventh time.

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Laird, now 22, secured a permanent contract with Birmingham City and made his debut last weekend.

He started against Swansea City, one of his old loan clubs, and impressed in a 1-1 tie.

Ethan Laird makes an impression on his Birmingham City debut.

Ethan Laird was a force on both sides of the ball in the Championship opener, playing 70 minutes.

Birmingham ended up drawing the game 1-1, with Swansea scoring just minutes after Laird was replaced.

Laird received an 8.3/10 rating from FotMob as the contest’s man of the match.

He executed six successful dribbles, totaling 76 touches, and won six tackles as well as three aerial duels.

Laird added three more interceptions, and Birmingham will likely consider themselves to have gotten a steal.

Ethan Laird gets praised by his manager.

Ethan Laird has the same dilemma that plagued him during his Manchester United development career and hampered his QPR loan last season: fitness.

Laird entered the game with scant preseason experience, which is why he did not play all 90 minutes.

Manager John Eustance was pleased with what he saw, praising Laird’s contribution to their away draw.

“Ethan, obviously, hasn’t trained in two weeks since the Cheltenham game,” he said on the club’s website. He declared himself fit yesterday, which was a huge plus for us, and after only an hour with him, you could tell he was fantastic.”

His words are a ringing endorsement that any player, especially a young one who has just made his first permanent move, wants to hear after their debut.

Laird has a solid foundation to build on, and if he can stay healthy, he might have a fantastic season.

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