Liverpool v Sunderland: U18 Premier League
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James Balagizi provides an injury update on Instagram

Liverpool academy starlet James Balagizi has posted a picture on Instagram updating supporters of his current injury status. The 17-year-old midfielder appeared to have his right leg in a brace at the club’s AXA Training Centre in Kirkby.

Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Who is Balagizi?

Balagizi was recently highlighted as one of the club’s brightest up-and-coming talents by The Guardian. The England under-17’s international signed for Liverpool from Manchester City back in 2015.

Capped at England under-17’s level, Balagizi is a regular feature in Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s U18 set-up at Kirkby.

His efforts were rewarded, too, back in September when Balagizi signed his first professional contract with Liverpool.

He left Manchester City for Liverpool six years ago, despite being one of the club’s top academy prospects at the time. So why did he do it?

“I thought that the pathway at City was completely blocked compared to other places because they have so much talent in one group, and it is not concentrated on individuals,” he said in a previous interview.

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“My parents didn’t think that being at City was the best for me at the time.”

Balagizi then went on to highlight the togetherness and the attraction that lured him to Merseyside.

“The club is so together and everyone is part of one big project,” he said. “It’s a good community and it’s a good working environment. It’s a place where people can thrive.”

Balagizi has previously been utilised as an attacking midfielder but he can also play further forward. Last season he clocked up 20 appearances for the U18s, boasting an impressive tally of 11 goals and eight assists.

However, this season has seen his progress plagued by injury, with Balagizi missing the U18’s previous five matches.

Unfortunately, his latest update on social media implies that he doesn’t look to be returning to fitness anytime soon, either.

The teenage midfielder was clearly devastated with the outcome, too. His Instagram story read: “No words. We go again.”

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