Taylor Harwood-Bellis injured his hamstring while on international duty with England U21.
Southampton acknowledged that the defender has returned from his time with England to be evaluated further in order to gain a clearer understanding of the degree of his problem.Harwood-Bellis has been a standout for Southampton in recent weeks, starting all six league games.
The defender joined on a season-long loan from Manchester City during the summer transfer window.
It remains to be known for just how long the centre back may potentially be gone for, with further details likely to emerge in the coming days.
How big of a loss is Harwood-Bellis for Southampton?
According to Carlton Palmer, this is a major loss for Russell Martin’s team.
The 57-year-old has lauded his recent efforts alongside Jan Bednarek, but believes that his absence may provide an opportunity for another Southampton player to step up.
“Southampton’s talented on-loan centre back Harwood-Bellis has picked up a hamstring injury,” Palmer said to Football League World.
“Bellis had a shaky start at his new club, but has begun to strike up a really good partnership with Jan Bednarek.”
“In their last three games, they’ve only allowed two goals.”
“This is a devastating blow for Southampton and Russell Martin.”
“Harwood-Bellis has pulled out of the England U21 squad and returned to his parent club Manchester City for further assessment.
“Saints already have captain Jack Stephens out of the side with a medium-to-long-term injury, but this may give an opportunity for Shea Charles or Everton loanee Mason Holgate to have a run in the team.”
Southampton, which was relegated from the Premier League last season, hopes to compete for promotion this season.
The Saints have had a mixed start to life in the second tier, currently sitting in 10th place.
m a four-game losing run in September.
Harwood-Bellis was instrumental in Burnley’s promotion to the Premier League last season, appearing in 32 league games on his road to the title.
Martin’s team will play Hull City away at the MKM Stadium on October 21.
Can anyone step up in the absence of Taylor Harwood-Bellis at Southampton?
The fact that Stephens is also out injured makes the team appear a little short at the back, but Martin has options.
Given his Premier League experience and readiness for the post, Holgate is the logical pick.
However, considering his skill set, Charles assuming the post could be a wise choice.
A hamstring injury should keep Harwood-Bellis out of play for a short time, but Martin will need to devise a solution to keep Southampton defensively solid in the coming weeks, since they had become leaky prior to Harwood-Bellis’ injury.
Bednarek helped me improve my form.