One Liverpool youngster could soon be set to make his first senior appearances of the 2023/24 season, according to reports.
The Liverpool Echo have used the current international break to take stock of the campaign so far and look ahead to a few items which are set to be on Jurgen Klopp’s wish list for upcoming fixtures.
The projected return of some injured players was discussed, including Stefan Bajcetic, whose last Reds appearance was six months ago today in a 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth (Transfermarkt).
However, having played for Spain’s under-21s in a 6-0 thrashing of their Malta counterparts on Friday, the 18-year-old ‘should soon make his first appearance of the season for the Reds after recovering from an adductor injury’.
The Wolves match on Saturday might come a little too soon for Bajcetic to start, particularly with Ryan Gravenberch possibly getting his Liverpool debut in midfield alongside fellow summer signings Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai.
However, it’s not unthinkable that the teenager might get minutes off the bench at Molineux, before potentially starting in what’s likely to be a much-changed line-up for the Reds’ first Europa League game against LASK the following Thursday.
The 18-year-old has actually been in Klopp’s last three matchday squads without making it off the bench (Transfermarkt), and a 25-minute substitute appearance for the Spanish under-21s three days ago (Sofascore) marks a significant staging post as he seeks to make up for lost time.
Bajcetic’s emergence was one of the biggest positives for Liverpool during a difficult 2022/23 season for the club, and he’d been enjoying a sustained run of appearances before the adductor injury in March halted his momentum.
Having not played for six months, the youngster can’t be expected to instantly rediscover the levels he’d been hitting at the start of this year, but ideally he’ll be reintegrated into the fold throughout the rest of September.
He could be a hugely valuable squad option for the rest of the campaign, especially if he gets back to the performance standards which led Klopp to call him ‘a top boy’ and Mo Salah to dub him ‘our best player’ (Evening Standard) during the rough patch we endured in the opening weeks of 2023.