Football News Update: Euro 2024, Champions League, and More

It goes without saying that nobody involved with Birmingham City would have wanted the club to be relegated at the end of the 2023/24 football season, but things look promising at St Andrew’s this summer. It’s not very often that a club that has been relegated to EFL League One is in high spirits over the off-season, but with ambitious owners and big plans on and off the field, Blues look in a good place ahead of the 2024/25 campaign.

Ethan Laird should take inspiration from Leif Davis’ time in EFL League One

Ethan Laird should take inspiration from Ipswich Town’s Leif Davis to get his career back on track in the third tier of English football. 24-year-old Davis is two years older than Laird, and he found himself in this situation two years ago when he left Leeds United on a permanent basis to join then EFL League One side Ipswich.

Davis had struggled to make a big impact with Leeds, falling down the pecking order at Elland Road following their promotion to the Premier League, and he spent the 2021/22 season on loan at AFC Bournemouth, but struggled to make an impact on the South Coast during their promotion-winning campaign. This meant that in the summer of 2022, he left Leeds to join Ipswich on a permanent basis, and playing in a successful EFL League One side gave him a new lease of life. Just two years on, he’s preparing for the Premier League, where he’s likely to play an important role for Kieran McKenna’s Ipswich side.

Ethan Laird is still a very talented player

It was a frustrating campaign for Laird at St Andrew’s as he suffered from injuries which limited him to just 26 appearances, but if he can stay fit in EFL League One, the former Manchester United man could be a huge asset. He made his Manchester United debut nearly five years ago, as an 18-year-old, and it’s clear that you’re not picked to play for a club of that stature in a European game without having something about you.

Perhaps Laird’s best spell in senior football came when he was loaned to Swansea City for the first half of the 2021/22 season, becoming a mainstay in Russell Martin’s side and causing Championship defenders all sorts of problems with his pace and trickery. He impressed so much that he spent the second part of that campaign on loan at AFC Bournemouth, linking up with the aforementioned Davis, but with the club battling for promotion, he made just 6 appearances.

A loan spell at QPR followed during the 2022/23 season, where he played 33 games for the Hoops, and it seemed a real coup for Birmingham when they announced his signing last summer. Whilst his first season at St Andrew’s didn’t go as planned, there’s absolutely no reason why Laird can’t become the first name on Chris Davies’ teamsheet next season, and he only needs to look at his former Bournemouth teammate Davis to see that this could be the springboard to bigger and better things in the future.

๐Ÿ”— Source