Why Taylor Harwood-Bellis to Huddersfield Town would be a good move
Taylor Harwood-Bellis, who is held in high regard at the Etihad as one of the brightest up and coming talents from the club’s youth system, made his senior professional debut for the Citizens in a 3-0 victory over Preston North End in the EFL Cup last month and held his own against more accomplished players at the Championship level.
Playing alongside fellow academy graduate Eric Garcia at the heart of the defence, the 17-year-old caught the eye with a solid display in the domestic cup game and that has apparently prompted Huddersfield Town to pursue a keen interest in his services.
However, a new contract for the teenager is yet to be finalised and the Terriers are eyeing him up as a loan target in January.
The 6ft. 2-inch towering central defender has already illustrated a level of maturity that belies his tender years and impressed manager Pep Guardiola during the club’s pre-season tours, with a report from Metro suggesting that several first-team players were completely blown away by his rapid development.
Meanwhile, Huddersfield have made significant strides towards resurrecting their campaign following a nightmarish start which included a winless run of 8 games in the Championship.
The Terriers still find themselves in the drop zone but things have taken a turnaround in the positive direction over the past month or so following the appointment of Danny Cowley at the helm of affairs, with the West Yorkshire outfit registering victories over Stoke City and Hull City while playing out draws against Millwall and Blackburn Rovers.
Huddersfield’s lack of quality at both ends of the pitch was quite ridiculous in the first couple of months, with the Terriers shipping as many as 17 goals in their first 8 games while scoring only 7 in the process.
However, Cowley’s influence has inspired a marked improvement on those numbers, with the team conceding only 3 goals in their last 4 games in the Championship and a lot of credit should go to new signing Danny Simpson, who was roped in as a free-agent to add more stability to the backline.
To put things into perspective, bringing in a proven striker in January to take the pressure off Karlan Grant should be a priority for the Terriers but bolstering the defensive ranks with a talented youngster like Taylor Harwood-Bellis could also be a breath of fresh air.
The Terriers are currently not crying out for reinforcements in the centre-back department, with Christopher Schindler and Tommy Elphick continuing as the first-choice pairing under Cowley.
Terence Kongolo has been preferred at left-back but the Dutchman has the versatility to play in central defence while Jon Gorenc Stankovic is also more than a decent back-up.
Despite that, however, it is worth mentioning that Huddersfield have looked vulnerable defensively over the past 18 months, dating back to their days in the Premier League and refreshing the backline with some much-needed young blood could be a wise decision.
Given that Stankovic hasn’t managed to earn a substantial role at the John Smith’s Stadium for a long time, Taylor Harwood-Bellis could have something different to offer, despite his tender years and lack of experience.
Looking at things from the player’s perspective, Guardiola hasn’t looked too keen to fast-track him into the first-team at the Etihad, meaning that going out on loan to Huddersfield Town in January is likely to appeal to the 17-year-old, as he looks to further his development with some much-needed professional experience.
The Terriers raided Man City for Aaron Mooy a few years ago and the working relationship between the two clubs looks healthy enough for a loan deal to materialize.
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All in all, Huddersfield signing Taylor Harwood-Bellis on loan in January could be a fair settlement for all parties involved.