Manchester City youngster Taylor Harwood-Bellis had an interesting 2021-22 campaign, starting it off on loan at Belgian giants Anderlecht before returning to England to feature for Stoke City.
The defender made 21 Championship appearances this season for the Potters after playing 16 Jupiler Pro League games on the continent.
The 20-year-old looks unlikely to be part of first-team plans at the Etihad Stadium next season underPep Guardiola, but there a number of clubs interested in his services – including Scottish champions Celtic and newly-relegated Burnley.
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Furthermore, with Vincent Kompany prepared to arrive to Turf Moor to take the Clarets forward next season, his links to City – and having coached him at Anderlecht last season – could help secure Harwood-Bellis’ signature.
Should Burnley be able to sign Harwood-Bellis then it would be his third loan spell at an English club, having featured for the Clarets’ bitter rivals Blackburn Rovers during the 2020-21 season.
Harwood-Bellis is currently training with the England under-21’s for their European Championship qualification games, but when discussing his future, he told The Times: “I’ll finish these four games [with England] and sit down with the people at City and everyone around me and see what’s best for me and the club.
“I’ve always said, there’s only so much training you can do. You can’t replicate that for 90 minutes, the intensity of it, the players you come up against.
“So I feel like I’ve done my years, training with the best players in the world, the best manager in the world, and learnt more in that time than I could ever imagine.
“But obviously nothing can compare to a game and different situations, so for me going forward that’s my main aim – just to playas many games as I can.”
It’s highly likely we will see Harwood-Bellis out on a loan deal again next season – although this time possibly for a whole season to give him the time to settle into a side rather than chopping and changing, as it’s clear the player feels game time is what he needs to progress.
If this is the case, then Burnley have a really good chance of acquiring him considering both the player and his parent club’s links to Vincent Kompany – playing for a club that should be at the top end of the Championship seems like a move that should be great for the player as well.
After focusing on his England games, the player will be prepared to discuss his future but it seems as though he will be encouraging the club to allow him the opportunity to go out and get regular playing time in order to develop his own game.