Loan Watch: Laird out of luck

Wednesday 17 August 2022 09:20

Queens Park Rangers head coach Michael Beale believes Manchester United youngster Ethan Laird was unlucky not to make a telling contribution on his debut for the London club.

The Reds defender joined the Championship side on loan earlier this week before making his Rs debut in their narrow defeat to Blackpool on Tuesday evening. 

Laird, who went on Tour 2022 with United’s senior team before featuring in our final pre-season friendly against Rayo Vallecano, played the full 90 minutes in his new team’s third league outing of the campaign. 

Despite the 1-0 scoreline in favour of the visiting Tangerines, after a first-half goal from Josh Bowler, the United defender made a positive impression on his new boss Beale, who commended his lively showing in the second-tier fixture.


“Ethan Laird only trained with us yesterday and [has] come into the team,” Beale said to club media after the match at Loftus Road.

“I think he’s unlucky not to come away with two assists tonight.

“He’s got to the byline twice and played balls across the six-yard box, so maybe we’ve got to get used to him or people have got to gamble and run through the goal because I think he’s done his job there.”

Next up for Laird and QPR is a visit from Rotherham United in the Championship on Saturday. 
Elsewhere on Tuesday night, there was a loan debut for another young Red.

Under-21s goalkeeper Dermot Mee joined National League side Altrincham earlier in the day and was made available for the Robins’ trip to Maidenhead United. 

But unfortunately, they were on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline, following a goal in each half. Mee played the full match on debut and could feature again on Saturday at home to Yeovil Town.

Mee loan deal confirmed


The Under-21s goalkeeper will gain experience with a National League side until January 2023.

Preston North End’s 0-0 draw with Rotherham in the Championship on Tuesday looked to have come too soon for young United defender Alvaro Fernandez, however. 

The Spaniard, who has joined the Lilywhites for the 2022/23 campaign, picked up an injury on his impressive first competitive start at senior level last week and has now missed the last two matches. 

North End boss Ryan Lowe had previously said Fernandez would “be on the grass on Monday” and if that was the case, there is a chance he could be ready to return during the club’s next outing, at home to Watford at the weekend. 

Fellow United loanees Dean Henderson and Alex Telles have also been preparing for upcoming fixtures with their respective loan clubs. 

The latter could make his home debut for Sevilla in their home opener in La Liga against Valladolid on Friday evening, while Henderson’s Forest travel to Everton in the Premier League on Saturday, looking to kick on from their first top-flight victory in 23 years last time out.