Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed that teenager Taylor Harwood-Bellis has been promoted to the first team squad. The 17 year old defender has been training with the first team since the start of the season.
The centre-back impressed during pre-season but did not feature in the Premier League as the back to back Premier League Champions had Laporte, Otamendi and Stones available at the start of the season. However, with Laporte and Stones injured, Pep Guardiola was left with only one senior centre-back in Otamendi available for selection against Watford.
Pep started defensive midfielder Fernandinho at the centre-back role along with Otamendi. The manager also used youngster Eric Garcia as a second half substitute in Man City’s 8-0 demolition of Watford. Now, the manager has confirmed that Taylor Harwood-Bellis will be part of the first team squad for the season.
Taylor Harwood-Bellis is 6’2 tall and is powerful in the air. His heroic performance in the FA Youth Cup final against Liverpool caught a lot of attention. His incredible pre-season has now earned him a first team role alongside his youth teammate Eric Garcia.
Eric Garcia is expected to start in the league cup fixture against Preston and there is a good chance that Taylor Harwood-Bellis would feature in the game as a substitute.
“[Eric Garcia is an] incredibly clever guy, and he’s able to lead the line. He’s so clever. Played incredible attention of that and played well. He’s going to play a lot of minutes.
“On Tuesday he will play against Preston.”– Pep Guardiola on Eric Garcia