West Ham are one of a host of Premier League clubs who is tracking the uncertain future of Manchester City academy starlet Taylor Harwood-Bellis.
What’s the latest on Taylor Harwood-Bellis to West Ham?
According to 90min, the Hammers, alongside Newcastle United, Brentford, and Fulham are monitoring the in-form centre-back.
The defender is currently on loan at Burnley and his contract in Manchester expires in 2024. The report details that Pep Guardiola’s side plan to start fresh contract talks at the end of the season but this outlet understands that City may be forced to sell if an agreement isn’t reached.
Burnley manager and City legend Vincent Kompany is hopeful that his Championship title-chasing side can strike a deal with his former employers for this coveted talent, but the east London outfit are waiting patiently in the wings to potentially pounce if the youngster suddenly becomes available.
Would Taylor Harwood-Bellis be a good signing for West Ham?
During his latest loan spell at the Clarets this season, the 21-year-old has thrived as one of the Championship’s most consistent and impressive performers.
Kompany has heaped praise on the prodigy and labelled his “leadership, incredible drive, and high standards” as his most obvious and commendable qualities.
The Stockport-born machine has made 27 league appearances this season and registered the third-highest rating (7.15) of the Burnley squad. He has also made the most interceptions, clearances, and blocks for the Championship’s best side and looks ready to tackle Premier League football every week.
However, 90min has reported that the loanee is aware that his path to the City first team is difficult amid the plethora of defensive quality strength that Guardiola already has at his disposal. This includes Ruben Dias, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Nathan Ake, and Manuel Akanji, but the Harwood-Bellis, whose market value has skyrocketed from £3m at the beginning of 2022, to £13m at the time of writing, will want to emulate Phil Foden’s journey from the academy to a regular starter at the Etihad.
This signing would be an astute coup for West Ham, who are yet to replace the ever-present Craig Dawson, who departed for Wolves in January. Fellow defender Angelo Ogbonna is 35-years-old, whilst Kurt Zouma’s time at the London Stadium has been ravaged by injury.
The injection of the young, dynamic, and hungry defensive ace could be the much-needed ingredient to resurrect a backline that has struggled drastically this campaign and sits one point above the relegation zone.
Harwood-Bellis is aware of the increased opportunity at other top-flight clubs so this will be one to watch throughout the summer.