Manchester City demonstrated huge faith in home boy Taylor Harwood-Bellis when the club handed him a four-year contract extension in December 2020. That is expected to keep him at the Etihad Stadium until 2024. The Stockport-born centre-back has been part of the club from childhood and is looking to build a successful career with the Blues.
After a successful loan spell with Blackburn Rovers in the English Championship during the second half of last season, he has decided to continue his development abroad. The chosen destination is Anderlecht in Belgium. He now files out in the Jupiler League under the tutelage of City legend Vincent Kompany who serves as manager.
For a young player still learning the ropes in the game, playing under one of the best players in your position could be invaluable. Kompany excelled in the position, winning several trophies with City while playing a leadership role in the team for many years at the club.
It appears there’s no better person to learn from if sealing a place in the team in the future is Harwood-Bellis’ target. So far the 19-year-old is getting sufficient playing time having already featured in seven games for the side.
Anderlecht have won three, drawn two and lost twice with the young defender in the lineup. Playing in the Europa Conference League is also a unique experience that would serve him well in the years to come.
If his development goes as planned, he is expected to be back at the Etihad Stadium competing for a place in the team by next season or two. Once teammates with Phil Foden at the academy, he would be expected to form a part of the City team of the future.
In that regard, learning from Kompany could be one of the best things that will happen to him. At best, it could be a City legend handing down his success recipe to the next generation. But that’s if the young player takes full advantage of the opportunity and soaks in as much as he can from the former club captain.
If he does, it will be a win-win for all parties involved. Kompany will have the satisfaction of contributing in raising the next generation. Harwood-Bellis will come back a better player with a bright future in the team.
Anderlecht will benefit from his services in the meantime. City and the club faithful will see another excellent academy graduate step up to the senior team and help the Cityzens win more trophies in the years to come.