Brilliant 21-year-old star happy to complete permanent Southampton move if condition met

DEFENDER Taylor Harwood-Bellis has stated that if Saints are promoted back to the Premier League this season, he will “snap your hand off” to stay.

The 21-year-old England youth captain joined the club on loan from Manchester City this summer, but his contract includes a clause.

If Saints are promoted to the Premier League at the first attempt, they are obligated to sign Harwood-Bellis for £20 million next summer.

Harwood-Bellis, who won the Championship with Burnley last season, scored his first goal for the club in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Birmingham City.

When asked if he wanted to be a Saints player next season, he spoke emphatically about his enjoyment so far during his time at St Mary’s.

“If we get promoted,” Harwood-Bellis explained. Yes, absolutely. That is the club’s goal, to return to the Premier League, and that is where I want to be.

“I wouldn’t have come here if that wasn’t the club’s ambition. If someone said to me, you’ll be playing for Southampton in the Premier League next year, I’d snap your hand off.

“I haven’t thought too much about that yet as it is a long way away and we have to grind to get ourselves there,” he added.

“I’ve loved it here, it’s a lovely part of the world. I’ve settled in well and that’s due to the staff, the players and everyone at the club. I’m enjoying my time here.”


Manchester City's Taylor Harwood-Bellis makes £20m Southampton transfer  admission - HampshireLive


Following his success with Vincent Kompany’s Clarets, Harwood-Bellis most likely expected to play in the Premier League this season.

The youngster made 32 appearances as they won the championship and was reportedly a target for Fulham and West Ham United.

Harwood-Bellis also led England to Under-21 European Championship glory, but he insists his sole focus is on guiding Saints back to the top flight.

“You don’t want to talk too much about last year, it’s something that has been and gone, but I feel like I know the way to apply yourself every day,” he said.

“Hopefully, I’m setting a good example – but with this team, I don’t feel like I need to anyway, everyone applies themselves as they should.

“Even the lads who don’t get too many minutes, they know their time will come and if you saw training, you’d see everyone wants a chance to start.

“I’m trying to be myself, I’m not trying to be too loud or be someone that I’m not. I just go about my business and help anyone I can on the way.

“My teammates will be able to help me along the way as well. It’s not something I have to try to do but my personality is already embedded in me and just being myself is going to help.”

Harwood-Bellis was a doubt for Saturday’s clash with Birmingham, having missed the 2-2 draw at Preston North End midweek due to hamstring tightness.

“I’m buzzing to contribute with a goal but more happy with the three points,” Harwood-Bellis reflected, making manager Russell Martin’s squad.

“It was a positive few days coming into the game and I did everything I could to try and get myself ready. I had a little niggle in my hamstring from the Leeds and we scanned it.

“I’m buzzing to play and to play with Jan (Bednarek), an experienced leader who is playing well and I feel like we are feeding off each other well.”


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