Name: Taylor Harwood-Bellis
Club: Manchester City
Date of Birth: 30 January 2002
Taylor Harwood-Bellis – his career so far
Hailing from Stockport and the same Stockport Metro Junior League that produced his Manchester City teammate Phil Foden, the 18-year-old Taylor Harwood-Bellis has been a part of the Citizens’ academy ever since he was only six years of age.
And interestingly enough, the young defender also formed a partnership in the backline with another bright prospect of the academy who joined at a much later stage in his development, Eric Garcia. The whole generation seems incredible for Man City at this point and the best part is, they are only now starting to fully blossom and emerge onto the scene.
Harwood-Bellis, however, hasn’t had the exposure to the senior team his teammates have enjoyed since their progress from the academy. The imposing 18-year-old centre-back is still registered as Man City’s U23 squad member and can only boast with a handful of appearances for the first-team in his young career.
But he did climb the youth ranks quite quickly and with great impressions. He ended up playing a total of 18 games for the U18 squad, even netting an impressive three goals in the process as well. On a similar note, his ventures in the Youth Cup with the UEFA U19 team were equally good as he mustered ten appearances with a goal on the side as well as City clawed their way towards the final of the competition.
Still, his biggest contribution to date is to the U23s, for whom he played a total of 31 games and netted two goals in the process as well.
Harwood-Bellis’ professional debut arrived when he was named in the starting lineup for Man City’s EFL Cup clash against Preston North End in September 2019 and prior to that, he would also feature in the team’s pre-season US tour.
Since then, he could muster three additional appearances for the seniors, bagging one goal in the FA Cup as well.
The biggest Manchester City news on the youngster is definitely the decision the club and Pep Guardiola will make on his future. He is only 18 years of age so there’s still a way for him to go in terms of progression and development but he’s been a regular with their U23s for quite some time now and he could probably use some first-team experience, either with the Citizens or possibly even on loan.
Either way, it wouldn’t really be a bad idea to show some faith in him and maybe push him towards the seniors a bit more often, just to ensure his immediate future remains linked to the Etihad.
Of course, with the summer transfer window approaching, City should also be alert to any transfer rumours or transfer news trying to unsettle the kid. At this point, however, nothing indicates they should be scared just yet.
Harwood-Bellis is an imposing and powerful central defender that is well capable of shrugging attackers off the ball and then initiating attacks by himself when he’s in possession and has successfully forced a turnover.
When it comes to his positioning, the youngster usually has to deal with long-balls and aerial threats as City’s box is often bombarded in such a manner. But it’s interesting to see how he’s also aggressive in his approach as he often leaves his position in order to engage the opposition in a duel.
And while he still has to work on his decision-making and body orientation when defending, this is mostly due to the sheer inexperience and young age. He is, however, comfortable on the ball and would suit Man City’s style of play if given a proper chance.
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