KEY POINTS

  • Liverpool has not been keen on bringing in more players in the club
  • The Reds made an unexpected move by signing Stefan Bajcetic
  • Bajcetic is naturally a center-back but has also impressed as a midfielder

Liverpool has made a rare addition to its youth team.

Stefan Bajcetic has officially signed his first professional contract with Liverpool since arriving at Anfield from Celta Vigo last year, the club announced Wednesday.

The 17-year-old first inked a deal with the Reds from Celta Vigo for €250,000 ($282,000) in December last year and was included in Liverpool’s youth setup in February.

Liverpool’s English Premier League rival Manchester United is said to be interested in Bajcetic as well, but the Reds finally poached him after scouting him since 2019.

Originally part of Liverpool’s Under-16 squad, Bajcetic was called up to make his debut with the club’s Under-18 last season, where he played most of his games as a center-back.

Bajcetic then stepped up to the Under-23 on several occasions and displayed his versatility by functioning as a midfielder as well, having been able to pass and carry the ball out from the back.

He made his first start in the UEFA Youth League this week as a midfielder, and it was from that position where he managed to score a fine goal in Liverpool’s 4-0 over FC Porto.

Raving about Bajcetic’s notable versatility, Liverpool Academy coach Marc Bridge-Wilkinson stressed that it is yet to be known whether he’ll be a defender or a midfielder in the future.

However, the only thing certain is that the club is already “pleased” with the youngster’s form, according to Bridge-Wilkinson.

"He is doing really well," Bridge-Wilkinson said of Bajcetic. "He's playing a little bit different in midfield at the minute but is good enough to play there. He can play the game in and out of possession in that position as well as at center-back. We are really pleased with him.”

"Who knows what his position will be?” he added. “He is a good footballer, that's the main thing. Our job is not to make a right-back or a central midfield player or a forward, it's to help these good football players improve, adapt to what they need to do, and at some stage, somebody will give them a little bit of a tag."

By inking his first professional deal with Liverpool, Bajcetic became the first completed signing of the Reds this season.

It can be recalled that Liverpool last signed a player in May when the club secured a deal for RB Leipzig star Ibrahima Konate.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has spoken out over coronavirus vaccines Jurgen Klopp was left furious after Liverpool's 2-2 draw at Tottenham Photo: AFP / Lindsey Parnaby