Burnley centre-back Taylor Harwood-Bellis has been named in Burnley’s U21s side to face Barnsley today.
The Clarets’ defender has been out of action since the beginning of January after he was substituted in the first half of Vincent Kompany’s side’s 4-2 win against Bournemouth in the FA Cup.
Harwood-Bellis has missed ten Championship games, as well as three FA Cup games that have seen the Clarets drawn away to the 21-year-old’s parent club Manchester City in the quarter-finals.
The centre-back had been an ever-present in the league for Burnley this season, starting all 26 of his appearances after Kompany opted to bring him in from his old club.
Speaking ahead of Burnley’s league fixture against Hull City tomorrow night, Kompany revealed that he was hoping to give Harwood-Bellis minutes with the U21s to build his fitness and sharpness back before a return potentially after the international break, he said:
“I can say Taylor Harwood-Bellis is going to play a couple of games now with the under-21s. It’s been a long time out of the squad so we want his fitness levels to go back up.”
The 21-year-old will now end a two month absence from action after he was named in the line-up to face Barnsley today.
📋 Here's how the U21s line up for this afternoon's game against @AcademyBFC 👇
Taylor Harwood-Bellis starts as he steps up his recovery from injury 💪
— Burnley FC Academy (@ClaretsAcademy) March 14, 2023
Building towards next season?
With Burnley taking the league by storm this season, currently sitting 13 points ahead of 2nd place Sheffield United, Kompany will have one eye on next season as he begins to plan for life as a Premier League manager following four title successes as a player.
With Harwood-Bellis’ spell at Burnley set to finish at the end of the season, it will be interesting to see how many minutes the City loanee will feature in amid Jordan Beyer’s and Hjalmar Ekdal’s form together, and potentially not returning to Turf Moor next season.
Although re-signing the youngster on loan for another season would likely suit all parties given the limited game time he’d probably feature in at City.