Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has suggested that the challenge for defender Taylor Harwood-Bellis should be to play for his parent club Manchester City amid interest in him from elsewhere.
It has been reported that Blackburn’s hopes of potentially re-signing the defender for next season have been impacted by the latest speculation linking him with moves to other clubs. According to a report from The Sun Brentford are amongst the sides taking a look at the 19-year-old and eyeing up a move should they earn promotion to the Premier League. While three other top-flight clubs also circle including Leeds United.
Harwood-Bellis only arrived on loan at Ewood Park in January, but the defender has caught the eye and has managed to average 1.4 interceptions and 2.4 clearances per game, as well as a passing accuracy of 79% in his 11 league appearances (Sofascore). That has seen him show his defensive abilities as well as his quality and composure on the ball.
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Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, Mowbray has suggested that the defender has been showing he has the defensive instincts you would need from a centre-back, whilst also possessing the right composure on the ball that Manchester City would expect. He also insisted that his career ambitions should be on breaking through at the Etihad Stadium.
He said: “Taylor has defensive instincts and warrior-like attributes. He wants to win headers and tackles and wants to engage.
“He’s composed on the ball and has a nice right-foot. These are all good attributes and yet the test for him is to play for Manchester City, not Blackburn Rovers.
“That’s his challenge in his career and although we put demands on him to play passes, it’s probably nowhere near the demands that Manchester City put on their centre-backs.”
Harwood-Bellis has clearly left a very good impression on Mowbray already during his short spell with Rovers so far, and it is testament to his ability that the Blackburn boss thinks he should be aiming for a place in the Manchester City side. You would expect him to be keen to re-sign the 19-year-old in the summer should the opportunity present itself.
However, the defender is going to be attracting interest from sides in the Premier League and that is ultimately the level Manchester City will need to judge him at. It will therefore make any move to re-sign the 19-year-old very challenging for Blackburn in the summer.
Mowbray has managed to get the best out of the defender so far, despite Blackburn’s form having not been the best since the turn of the year. That in many ways shows the promise that the Manchester City man has because he has been able to perform and impress in a side that have not been playing at their best. He looks destined for a loan to a Premier League side in the summer.