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Manchester City defender Harwood-Bellis to complete loan move to Anderlecht with Nmecha also set for exit

10:53 AM EDT 6/23/21
Taylor Harwood-Bellis
The highly-rated young defender will complete a season-long switch to Belgium while the striker is unlikely to return with German clubs monitoring him

Manchester City defender Taylor Harwood-Bellis is set to join Belgian club Anderlecht on a season-long loan, Goal can confirm.

The 19-year-old, who has made eight appearances for Pep Guardiola’s side, spent the last three months of last season on loan at Championship club Blackburn Rovers.

Stockport-born Harwood-Bellis signed a new four-year deal in December and impressed in his loan spell at Blackburn as he established himself as a first-team regular.

Why is he going on loan?

Guardiola has praised Harwood-Bellis and said the centre-back would gain valuable experience from a loan ahead of his move to Blackburn in February.

“He'll play in a good competition at a good historical team, he'll play real opponents," Guardiola said. “The academy is good for a short time but he needs to grow as a player and he doesn't have many minutes here in the first team.

“He has had two seasons training with us, there are other young lads training in their first season. This is the best way to see him, in a good competition.”

The England youth international went onto make 19 appearances for Blackburn, and a switch to Belgium ought to further help his development.

Why Anderlecht?

Harwood-Bellis, will now get the chance to work under City legend Vincent Kompany, who took over as coach in August 2020. The 35-year-old captained City to four Premier League titles and maintains strong links with his former club.

Germany under-21 international Lukas Nmecha spent last season on loan at Anderlecht and was the club’s top scorer as they finished third in the Jupiler League.

Nmecha's future

The 22-year-old has just one year remaining on his City contract and is expected to leave on a permanent basis in the summer.

He has been watched by a number of Bundeliga clubs with RB Leipzig, Stuttgart, and Eintracht Frankfurt among the clubs linked with a move for him.

Nmecha further enhanced his reputation by starring at the European Under-21 Championship, where he scored the only goal in the final against Portugal.

After unsuccessful loan spells at Wolfsburg and Middlesbrough where he failed to score, last season Nmecha hit 21 goals in 41 appearances for Anderlecht.

The striker is thought be valued at around £15million ($20m) and is one of a number of fringe players likely to leave the club.

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