It’s set to be a big few months for Taylor Harwood-Bellis, after the centre back completed a deadline day loan move to Blackburn Rovers from Manchester City.
The 19-year-old has already made a handful of appearances for Pep Guardiola’s side, but will now be hoping to enjoy more regular first-team football between now and the end of the season.
For their part, Harwood-Bellis arrives at Ewood Park with Blackburn currently eighth in the Championship table, three points adrift of the play-off places ahead of their trip to QPR on Saturday afternoon, where the teenager could make his debut for his new club.
But just what challenges will Harwood-Bellis have to cope with between now and the end of the season at Blackburn?
Here, in order to help find out, we’ve taken a look at two obstacles the young defender will likely have to overcome during his time at Ewood Park.
Breaking into the side
Despite the fact that Blackburn went into the transfer window with injury concerns around three of their four senior centre backs – two of whom, Derrick Williams and Scott Wharton – are out for the rest of the season, there may be no certainty of game time for Harwood-Bellis, to begin with at least.
The Manchester City man is not the only young Premier League centre back to make a temporary move to Ewood Park in January, with Jarrad Branthwaite also making the same switch from Everton.
Branthwaite has already made three appearances for Rovers, and with the exception of that infamous incident with Dael Fry at Middlesbrough, has done very little wrong in establishing a partnership with Rovers’ on-field captain Darragh Lenihan, something which could be hard for Harwood-Bellis to immediately break-up, meaning he may have to wait his turn for an opportunity.
The Weight of Expectation
Even when – and he no doubt will before the end of the season – Harwood-Bellis get a chance in the starting line-up for Rovers, there is going to be a lot of pressure on the teenager.
Despite his lack of experience so far in his career, Harwood-Bellis still arrives at Ewood Park with a big reputation, and there is a great deal of anticipation around the 19-year-old at his new club.
That, along with the strains of playing regular first-team football for the first time in his career, is something that the centre back is going to have to live up to against teams who will all have plenty to play for themselves.
Indeed, with Harwood-Bellis likely to be well aware of the fact that an impressive next few months could give him a big opportunity when he returns to the Etihad in the summer, there will be plenty of pressure on the teenager during his time at Blackburn, and it will certainly be interesting to see just how he copes with that.