Stefan Bajcetic is poised to make his first Liverpool start – as the teenage midfielder was hailed as “a present” from the Academy to Jurgen Klopp’s senior squad.
Bajcetic, who arrived from Celta Vigo in February 2021, has made his breakthrough this season having been included on the summer tour to Thailand and Singapore.
The 17-year-old midfielder – originally signed as a centre-back – made his senior debut as a second-half substitute in the 9-0 Premier League romp over Bournemouth in August and has since made three more appearances from the bench in the Champions League.
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Bajcetic is now in line to make his full debut with Liverpool prepared to make wholesale changes for the Carabao Cup third round clash at home to League One side Derby County on Wednesday.
And Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has explained why the Spain under-19 international has made such an impact while training with Klopp and the first team.
“Stefan is somebody who really it’s a joy to watch because he has all the characteristics what we search for as a midfield player,” said Lijnders.
“He played in the past as a centre-half so he’s really good in the challenges which is what we need. I said one of our bigger problems this season is stopping counter-attacks, so we can stay in the opposition half. So he is a type of player who has this attribute.
“It’s a really nice to see. He is young, hungry shows every day in training that he is really ready. It’s up to us to lead well with him, give him the right moments to give again these things. The process takes time and I cannot say if he starts or not, but hopefully we will see him tomorrow.
“Is he a centre-back or a midfielder? I see him as a midfielder, absolutely. Honestly, sometimes the Academy gives you a present and he is one of them.”
Bajectic could be one of a number of youngsters in involved on Wednesday. Midfielder Bobby Clark, who also debuted against Bournemouth, was replaced at half-time for the under-21s in their win over Fulham at the weekend, while Luke Chambers, on the bench for the Premier League opener at August, could also feature.