Crawley Town manager Kevin Betsy has claimed that his club have signed a ‘class act’ in 18-year-old Liverpool player James Balagizi.
Betsy was speaking to crawleytownfc.com after Balagizi’s loan move to Crawley was confirmed. The coach said the Liverpool youngster is ‘highly thought of’ at Liverpool.
“We are really thankful to Liverpool for allowing James to join us on loan,” he said. “He is an extremely talented young man who I have known for a very long time. He is highly thought of at Liverpool, so for them to send him to us and trust us with a real asset of theirs speaks volumes for the football club.”
Bestsy, who worked with Balagizi in England’s youth teams, then detailed what his new club can expect from the youngster.
“James can be a box-to-box to midfielder with great athleticism and speed. He can also play a real defensive role at times, as he is really astute in his positioning. A real class act who I believe will show his quality once he gets on the pitch for us. This really is a fantastic signing for us as he already has a great pedigree and has played for his national side at such a young age.”
Step in the right direction for Balagizi
It may be a little way down the Football League ladder, but hopefully this move will give Balagizi the game time he needs.
As Betsy points out, he’s been in and around the conversation at Liverpool over the last two seasons. Despite occasionally featuring on the bench for the senior side, he’s still yet to make his debut.
At eighteen, now is the time for the midfielder to begin to make his mark in men’s football.
There has been hope that the teenager could one day make up part of Jurgen Klopp’s first-team midfield. Although this move perhaps suggests that won’t be the case, it gives Balagizi the chance to show what he can do.
After featuring in Klopp’s squad for the Carabao Cup last season, he’s clearly in the manager’s thoughts.
Liverpool are meticulous in choosing the temporary homes for their young players. Under a manager who he knows, hopefully Balagizi can be given an environment where he can shine.
As a first loan move for the player signed from Manchester City seven years ago, it represents a step in the right direction. We’ll watch on with interest to see how Balagizi is getting on. Good luck, James!