In an otherwise forgettable season for Liverpool, Stefan Bajcetic has managed to grasp his opportunity in the first team and has continued to impress.
The 18-year-old has stepped up at a time when Jurgen Klopp has desperately been scrambling for midfield options, with 12 appearances already under his belt this season.
Bajcetic looks like he will be a star, but don’t just take our word for it. We’ve collected some of the best quotes about the midfielder from former players to managers alike.
“We were pretty careful with him, because of his age,” Klopp told the club website after Bajcetic had penned a new deal with the club. “He showed now he is ready and for us it is very helpful, with all of his natural skills.
“It’s something we didn’t show often enough in the recent games; aggression, but a good aggression, it’s not that he kicks players. He is a good footballer on top of that, so that’s obviously very important in the centre of the park.
“I am really pleased he signed his new contract. He deserves it and I think he is really happy about it.”
“Since Stefan started playing with us, he’s been our best player,” Salah told Sky Sports following Liverpool’s Merseyside derby triumph against Everton.
“It’s a huge win. It’s huge for us. It’s been a perfect week to train – we were all so excited. Hopefully, that is the start.”
🗣 "He's Mo Salah, probably one of the best players like ever."
Stefan Bajčetić grateful for the compliments by Mo Salah pic.twitter.com/Lyn5MjM764
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 13, 2023
“I’m going to give player of the match to Bajcetic,” Carragher told Sky Sports after their Everton triumph.
“But for a young man of his age to play in a Merseyside derby and put in the performance he’s done… He’s kept players out who have won Champions Leagues in recent weeks.
“I wasn’t sure if this was the game for him tonight given the power and physicality of Everton’s midfield but he’s been outstanding. He’s dealt with the demands physically but also his quality on the ball.”
“I’m very impressed,” Henderson told LFC TV. “He has been outstanding since he has come into the team.
“Over the last few weeks, even though the performances haven’t been great, he has been the one that has probably stood out and performed to the levels he is capable of.”
“The young man has done really well,” the former Everton midfielder told Sky Sports. “When it’s a Merseyside derby, especially when you’re coming up against that (Everton) midfield three, you actually think; ‘Will he be able to cope?’
“But he’s been excellent. He usually plays in that sitting role. Fabinho is in there tonight. He’s showing his full range of passing. Tigerish as well, winning second balls. It’s easy to see why Jurgen Klopp has so much confidence in him.
“I think (the more advanced role) actually suited him. Stepping forward and using his energy,” Osman says. “Being able to not just sit in front of the back four but actually get about the pitch too.
“His passing range has been excellent.”
Bajcetic VS Everton
What a talent we've got. pic.twitter.com/KTEyobcjql
— Ben Marshall (@xBennnM) February 14, 2023
“Bajcetic is only 18. However, the way he was playing last night was as if he had all the experience in the world,” the former Liverpool midfielder told SportsBettingCanada.
“He was confident and great on the ball. Tactically, he is very good. He’s tall, and his passing is good. If he can work hard I don’t see a reason why he couldn’t be one of the key midfield players at Liverpool. Steven Gerrard also came through at only 18 years of age.
“Based on last night’s performance, he has the ability to play for Liverpool for a long time.”
“I said that the best [option] for him was to go out on loan and play,” the former Liverpool defender wrote on Twitter. “But if the kid plays like tonight consistently, then 100% he has to stay with us.”
“Bajcetic is in it now and what is he? Eighteen?” Wright explained on The Ringer. “Just watching how he was playing in that midfield and not just his passing range but his tackling. Everything. The distribution.
“He did a cross-field ball and honestly the crowd were like ‘wow,’ They didn’t give him like the – if Thiago Alcantara did it, you just go ‘he does that, nice pass.’
“But because he did it for some reason, he just looked up and went bam, right across to Andy Robertson and everyone was like ‘wow.’
“They should be hyped about his kid because he’s the next incumbent of that midfield that they need. He has everything wrapped up in what he does. Six, eight, 10, he’s got all that.”
Anfield rose to its feet to show their appreciation for Stefan Bajcetic last night.
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) February 14, 2023
“You see people like Stefan coming into the team and doing very well,” Milner told the club website. “And it’s important we protect those guys and make sure people like him keep doing what they’re doing.
“It’s important we keep that positivity.”