Saints’ defender, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, has withdrawn from the England under-21 squad due to a new injury, as confirmed by the club. The 21-year-old, hailing from Stockport, had been a consistent starter in the Championship, featuring in the last six consecutive matches under manager Russell Martin. Despite a shaky start at his new loan club, Harwood-Bellis had managed to establish a promising partnership with Jan Bednarek, conceding only two goals in their last three games.
The team’s defensive depth had already suffered a blow with Captain Jack Stephens sustaining a medium-term injury back in August and yet to make his return. This latest setback for Saints is due to a hamstring injury, as reported by talkSPORT. In response, the club issued a statement indicating that Harwood-Bellis would be returning to the Staplewood Campus for further assessment. Further updates on his condition will be provided in the future.
This injury to Harwood-Bellis opens up an opportunity for Northern Ireland international Shea Charles or Everton loanee Mason Holgate to potentially regain a place in the starting lineup. Notably, even though Harwood-Bellis is on loan, there is a possibility that he could become a permanent player for Saints. The club holds a £20 million buy option for the Manchester City defender, contingent upon the club’s promotion back to the Premier League.