Liverpool must start 19-y/o Klopp says is a ‘natural’ vs Aston Villa; in senior training this week

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Stefan Bajcetic’s return to the matchday squad late in April was a welcome sight after spending much of the season on the treatment table with a calf injury.

The Spanish Serb clocked 25 minutes on the pitch against Tottenham as Liverpool ran out 4-2 winners on the day.

Whether the 19-year-old is ready for an increased batch of first-team minutes remains to be seen. The teenager did feature in first-team training once again ahead of the trip to the Midlands.

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Stefan Bajcetic: The future of the No.6 role?

Stefan Bajcetic ahead of Liverpool’s tie with West Ham – (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

If the Spanish U21 gets anywhere near close to realising his football ceiling, we’ll have one hell of a talent on our hands for the foreseeable.

Coming up against Unai Emery’s men at Villa Park, Liverpool will need to be incredibly disciplined to extract maximum points.

The temptation, then, will be to go to established first-choice Wataru Endo.

However, with third place all wrapped up and nothing left to play for in our season, one could argue now is the opportune time to throw a curve ball.

We wouldn’t expect Bajcetic (described as a ‘natural’ by Jurgen Klopp, via the Echo) to last the full 90 against Aston Villa. Still, we’d be curious to see the holding midfielder start in the West Midlands. Perhaps only for a half!

Will Liverpool persist with Endo next term?

Wataru Endo of Liverpool – (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The Japanese international has been a sensational addition for the money paid.

That said, serious question marks will surely be raised over his long-term viability in our starting-XI.

Can we seriously expect to compete with Manchester City and Arsenal going up against Rodri and Declan Rice respectively?

In that sense, it can’t hurt to give rising star Bajcetic more game time – if he gets the okay from the medical department.

It surely gives both Arne Slot and our recruitment team a better gauge of how ready the youngster is to take on greater responsibility in 2024/25.

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