In Profile: Charlie Taylor


A Northern lad with promotions and plenty of Premier League experience under his belt, Charlie Taylor has made the journey down to the South Coast as Southampton’s latest signing.

Born in York, the left-back’s career began less than 30 miles away at Leeds United where he rose through the junior ranks before signing a scholarship contract in 2010.

With eyes on him at the Academy, Taylor’s scholarship years proved to be a breakout period as one of Leeds’ rising talents.

After completing his first year as a scholar, a statement of faith and intent followed as he was awarded his first professional contract with a three-year deal.

"I'll take it step by step, hopefully I'll do well for the Under-18s next season and see where things go from there." were the words of a then-17-year-old Taylor, blissfully unaware of the milestone steps he was about to take.

Three months later, in August of the 2011/12 campaign, he was handed his professional debut in the League Cup against Bradford City.

In September, his Championship debut and first senior start followed; Taylor’s excellent, deep cross assisted the opening goal after just eight minutes as Leeds were 3-2 winners over Crystal Palace.

A young Charlie Taylor broke through at Leeds.

The youngster had announced himself to the Elland Road faithful, started and shone on debut, and earned himself an England Under-19s call-up in an impressive attempt at “seeing where things go.”

Taylor then embarked on a series of loans to bolster his senior experience; a month at Bradford in January 2012 and two months at hometown side York City the following season maintained a steady progression in League Two.

He ended 2012/13 in Scotland with Inverness, with the next important step on his journey on the horizon.

Fleetwood Town, also in League Two, was the next destination in the 2013/14 season for the then-20-year-old, who made his debut on the same day the loan move was confirmed.

An initial one month loan became half a season, which became a full campaign as Taylor earned several plaudits in Lancashire.

He made 42 appearances in all competitions as Fleetwood earned promotion to League One via the play-offs, with Taylor playing 90 minutes in both semi-finals against York and the duration against Burton Albion at Wembley.

A fruitful Fleetwood loan ended in promotion.

The first promotion of his career carried Taylor back to Leeds ready to stake a claim for first team football, which he was handed midway through the 2014/15 campaign after an injury to Stephen Warnock.

With Neil Redfearn in charge, who had previously coached him in the Academy, Taylor stepped up to the plate and did more than solely stake a claim.

Playing at left-back, and left wing at times, he made 25 appearances and turned himself into a first choice option, attracting Premier League interest in the process.

A further 43 appearances in the 2015/16 season and 32 in the 2016/17 campaign followed, which included a run of 52 consecutive starts either side of another summer of interest.

Leeds were under pressure to keep their homegrown talent, and a top flight move eventually materialised in July 2017 when Burnley secured Taylor’s signature.

Despite labelling the manner of the exit from his boyhood club “the biggest regret” of his career, the switch to Turf Moor ultimately “proved right in the way things worked out” Taylor admitted after the dust had settled across the Pennines.

In his first season at Burnley, the Clarets reached the Europa League qualifying stages with a seventh placed finish.

Taylor became the first choice left-back in the following campaign, featuring in the Europa League qualifying rounds and as an ever-present player in the Premier League.

Taylor in Europa League action.

Six years of consistent involvement followed as a mainstay in the Burnley side, even with their relegation into the Championship in the 2022/23 season.

He stuck with the Clarets for their instant return to the top flight, earning a second career promotion in the process as title winners alongside ex-Saint Nathan Tella and new Saints teammate Taylor Harwood-Bellis.

In total, his stay at Turf Moor lasted seven years with 220 appearances - 161 of those in the Premier League - before a move to the South Coast beckoned. 

As Russell Martin’s third permanent Premier League signing, Taylor brings a wealth of experience amassed at the top table of English football which could prove vital as Saints make their return to the promised land.

Viewing this page on a mobile device? Download the Saints app for all the latest news, feature videos and interactive content to get you closer to the action!

Open the Saints app today!