Wherever Newcastle United end up finishing at the end of the 2022/23 campaign, it doesn’t appear that Eddie Howe is resting on his laurels.
An unexpected loss at Aston Villa notwithstanding, the Magpies are still well in the fight to ensure that they are in the Champions League next season.
Howe will know that his team are probably short in a few areas if they want to sustain a realistic European tilt and have a decent Premier League campaign in 2023/24, and in an ideal world he will surely want to have two decent players in every position.
To that end, it’s believed that he might already be looking at a young 21-year-old player that could eventually replace Fabian Schar.
“They are going to sign a centre-half to replace Fabian Schar. But I think they might go for a younger one,” transfer insider, Graeme Bailey, noted on the Talking Transfers podcast.
“We linked them having been confirmed they’re interested in (Taylor) Harwood-Bellis, the Burnley defender who’s on loan for Man City.”
It isn’t clear how much any potential transfer would cost, but it’s understandable why Howe might be sniffing around the Man City star who has been on loan at Burnley this season.
According to WhoScored, Harwood-Bellis has already played 28 games of the Clarets season so far, and his pass completion rate of 84.8 percent is hugely impressive given his age.
It also compares well to Schar’s own 76.9 percent success rate (per WhoScored) in the same amount of games for Newcastle.
Given that the youngster also has 10 years on Schar, and that Howe appears to enjoy working with young players, if Harwood-Bellis is recruited, the likelihood is he could be given his St. James’ Park bow sooner rather than later.