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Harwood-Bellis: Pep praise a privilege

IMPRESSIVE: Taylor Harwood-Bellis caught Pep Guardiola's eye on City's summer tour of Asia.

IMPRESSIVE: Taylor Harwood-Bellis caught Pep Guardiola's eye on City's summer tour of Asia.

Taylor Harwood-Bellis says it’s a pleasure to be singled out by Pep Guardiola after recording impressive performances on City’s pre-season tour of Asia.

The City manager admitted ahead of Saturday’s 5-0 victory against West Ham that the 17-year-old ranks among his options for a centre-back berth in the first team, despite his tender age.

And Harwood-Bellis, the England under-17 captain, is eyeing a continuation of his eye-catching form after his initial taste of first-team football.

“It’s a pleasure [to be mentioned by Pep],” he said.

“He’s one of the best managers in the world and for him to notice who I am is a massive thing, so I’ve got to keep working and keep making sure he wants to pick me.”

Harwood-Bellis, who joined City as an eight-year-old, started in the pre-season game against West Ham and impressed off the bench against Wolves.

And he feels he gave a good account of himself in the senior set-up.

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“I’ve always got room to improve so obviously I could have done better but I thought I did myself proud,” he explained. “There’s not much more I could have done.”

The 6ft2in centre-back follows Eric Garcia's path to the fringes of the first team squad, and believes a solid partnership will blossom with the 18-year-old Spaniard when they feature together in Paul Harsley's EDS side this season.

“He’s more the clever one who gets on the ball more,” Harwood-Bellis admitted.

“I think he’s better on the ball than me but I think I’ve got more strengths to my game in terms of heading and tackling.

“I think it’s a good partnership in terms of the different qualities that we’ve got but he’s brilliant to play with.

"I love playing with him.”

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