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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 1, 2022: Liverpool's James Balagizi during the pre-match warm-up before the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool FC Under-23's and Manchester United FC Under-23's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Liverpool recall FOURTH player from loan after only 7 appearances

For the fourth time already this winter, Liverpool have chosen to prematurely recall a loanee – with James Balagizi the latest after a frustrating spell at Wigan.

The 20-year-old joined the League One side during the summer but managed just seven outings that totalled 414 minutes of action.

None of those appearances came from the start in the league, and he was often left out of the matchday squad, which pointed to Liverpool likely considering an early termination of the loan.

That was then compounded when Balagizi sustained a hamstring injury in early December, the latest fitness setback for the young midfielder.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - Monday, February 7, 2022: Liverpool's James Balagizi during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Leeds FC Under-23's and Liverpool FC Under-23's at Elland Road. Leeds United won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

And Liverpool have now confirmed the 20-year-old has been recalled, which feels the best course of action for all parties.

Balagizi will continue his rehab on his hamstring injury before likely closing out the season with the under-21s.

He is the fourth loan player to make an early return to the club, following on from Fabio Carvalho (Leipzig), Owen Beck (Dundee) and Rhys Williams (Aberdeen), and he is unlikely to be the last.

The majority of Liverpool’s loans in the first half of the season have not proven to be successful, but the hope is the second half of the campaign will prove more promising for the club’s youngsters.

Balagizi does not have a senior Liverpool appearance to his name, but he has twice been named on the bench, against Norwich in the League Cup and Shrewsbury in the FA Cup in 2021/22.