In terms of squad depth, Liverpool have a comfortable number of players across all positions on the pitch, particularly in the midfield area.
One midfielder that has not seen as much action as some of the other midfield players in Jurgen Klopp’s squad is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has only started five of the 12 games he’s appeared in across all competitions.
With this in mind, it didn’t come as much of a surprise when it was reported earlier in the year that the Englishman could look for a move away from the Merseyside club to get his career back on track and get some regular minutes elsewhere.
Taking this into account, if Oxlade-Chamberlain does end up leaving, the club could already have their ideal long-term replacement for him in their youth ranks with 18-year-old midfielder James Balagizi.
After joining the Reds from fellow Premier League club Manchester City as an U11 player, Balagizi has gone on to make 35 appearances for Liverpool’s U18 side in which he has managed to score eight goals and provide 13 assists along the way, highlighting that he has some attacking prowess in him, in a similar way Oxlade-Chamberlain has shown during his time at Anfield, having 14 goals and 13 assists under his belt.
Balagizi, who has been previously likened to former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure in terms of his style of play, has also made six appearances for Liverpool’s U23 side, showing that they believe he is capable of mixing in along with some of the older players in their youth ranks.
So far this season, in the 12 appearances he’s made across all competitions, Balagizi has played in numerous positions on the pitch in midfield and up front, showing his versatility, also in a similar fashion to Oxlade-Chamberlain when he’s been given the chance to play.
With all of this in mind, it seems as though Balagizi has the potential to continue with the U23s and eventually break into the first team at Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp in the same way fellow Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones has done, especially if Oxlade-Chamberlain ends up leaving in the summer to try and get more minutes on the pitch elsewhere.