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Taylor Harwood-Bellis to move to Southampton for £20 million following the Saints’ promotion to the Premier League


Manchester City loanee Taylor Harwood-Bellis will move to Southampton on a permanent deal worth £20 million. The Saints’ promotion to the Premier League triggered an obligation to buy clause in the 22-year-old defender’s contract.

The young centre-back started 42 times across all competitions for the Saints, scoring two goals. He played a big part in Southampton’s 1-0 win over Leeds United in the EFL Championship playoff final, confirming the Saints’ promotion and his permanent move to the Russell Martin-led side.

After the game, Harwood-Bellis spoke to BBC Radio Solent: “I can’t put it into words. It’s different because I know I’m a Southampton player now. I wanted to stay here, and to know that we’ll be in the Premier League and there’s not even a discussion to happen now [with Man City], and to just turn up for pre-season, I can’t describe that feeling.”

Martin also had a few words to say regarding Harwood-Bellis: “Taylor becomes our player now, which is really nice. I told him this morning the biggest motivation for me today is that we win and he can continue working with me.”

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Coming through the youth ranks of Man City, Harwood-Bellis impressed manager Pep Guardiola as a 17-year-old. Having been picked for a pre-season tour in 2019, the coaching staff marveled at his composure and maturity. “I was impressed,” Guardiola said. “I didn’t know him very well, but in pre-season in China, Taylor was so good.”

The England youth international made his debut for the club aged 17 in an EFL Cup tie against Preston North End. Harwood-Bellis has gone on to represent City in the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League but has yet to make an appearance for them in the Premier League.

An excellent player on the ball, the centre-back has spent the last four seasons out on loan to various clubs like Blackburn Rovers, Stoke City, Anderlecht, Burnley, and finally Southampton. The permanent deal works out for both clubs, with Man City getting a good profit of £20 million for an academy graduate while Southampton get an excellent defender who has been praised by Guardiola in the past.

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