Liverpool youngster James Balagizi has been involved in just three of a possible 11 league games on loan at Wigan, as his absence continues.
While Balagizi was among the most talented young players to depart Liverpool on loan in the summer, he has been unable to translate that into game time.
Joining Wigan on a season-long deal, the 20-year-old followed up a promising spell at Crawley last time out that was cruelly cut short by injury.
But joining a Latics side floundering at the bottom of League One, Balagizi has been unable to pick up the minutes he requires, left out of the matchday squad for the fifth time in Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Stevenage.
Balagizi had played 45 minutes in a 2-1 defeat to Burton Albion four days previous, but that was only his fourth outing against senior opposition this season.
In total, the versatile midfielder has played just 86 minutes over three appearances in League One, with a return to Liverpool likely in January.
?Congratulations to Luca Stephenson who was voted man of the match by our match sponsor @Bender_UK.
— Barrow AFC (@BarrowAFC) October 7, 2023
Elsewhere over the weekend, it was more positive for Luca Stephenson, who came off the bench after just 13 minutes in Barrow’s 1-1 draw with Notts County and earned Man of the Match.
Stephenson replaced Tyrell Warren early in the first half and produced an all-action display in midfield.
Sepp van den Berg saw Mainz’s losing run finally end after four consecutive defeats in the Bundesliga, playing 90 minutes in a 2-2 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach.
There was a full game, too, for Harvey Davies, who was involved in a hugely controversial 4-2 loss to Salford City that left Crewe furious with referee Thomas Kirk.
Kirk’s association with Salford, as a Man United fan, was flagged by supporters on social media, while Crewe manager Lee Bell criticised the official for an offside call he got “drastically wrong” as his side scored again at 2-2.
Two more goalkeepers made starts, too, with Jakub Ojrzynski keeping his place after a clean sheet for Den Bosch the previous weekend.
Unfortunately, the Pole was unable to record another shutout as his side lost 1-0 to FC Eindhoven, with Luke Hewitson also on the end of a defeat with Stalybridge Celtic.
Stalybridge Celtic’s 5-1 loss to Leek Town came with two goals for former Liverpool academy midfielder Dan Trickett-Smith.
Finally, Dominic Corness came off the bench as Yverdon Sport suffered a 3-0 defeat to Grasshoppers.
Billy Koumetio was left out of the squad again for USL Dunkerque, having gone unused in three games since picking up a one-match suspension for being sent off on his debut.
Liverpool Loan Watch Roundup
- Fabio Carvalho (RB Leipzig) – 12 mins vs. Bochum
- Nat Phillips (Celtic) – 17 mins vs. Kilmarnock
- Sepp van den Berg (Mainz) – 90 mins vs. Gladbach
- Tyler Morton (Hull) – 90 mins vs. Millwall
- Harvey Davies (Crewe) – 90 mins vs. Salford City
- Dominic Corness (Yverdon Sport) – 17 mins vs. Grasshoppers
- Luca Stephenson (Barrow) 77 mins vs. Notts County, MOTM
- Jakub Ojrzynski (Den Bosch) – 90 mins vs. FC Eindhoven
- Luke Hewitson (Stalybridge Celtic) – 90 mins vs. Leek Town