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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Ian Doyle

Stefan Bajcetic signs new Liverpool contract as Champions League squad change explained

Stefan Bajcetic has been rewarded for his breakthrough season at Liverpool with a new improved contract.

The 18-year-old, who made his first Premier League start in Saturday's goalless draw at home to Chelsea, has put pen to paper on a long-term deal that extends his Anfield commitment to the summer of 2027.

Bajcetic was snapped up from Celta Vigo in February 2021 for less than £250,000 as Liverpool's final Academy signing from overseas before the introduction of new Brexit rules restricting such transfers.

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The teenager had been identified by Liverpool's Spanish scouts with his signing led by the head of senior Academy recruitment Matt Newbury, and the player's development at Kirkby overseen by Academy manager Alex Inglethorpe.

Bajcetic made his under-18s debut as an U16s player in April 2021 playing at centre-back before moving into midfield the following campaign, when he stepped up to U23 level and featured in the EFL Trophy and UEFA Youth League before his season was cut short by a back injury.

He was then called up for the senior squad's tour to Thailand and Singapore last summer, where he impressed Jurgen Klopp sufficiently to earn a place on the bench for the Premier League opener at Fulham in August.

The Spain U19 international was then handed his top-flight bow as a second-half substitute in the 9-0 romp over Bournemouth later in the month, and appeared from the bench for his Champions League debut in the home win over Ajax in September.

Bajcetic made his first senior start in the Carabao Cup win over Derby County in November, and also began the defeat at Manchester City in the competition last month and the FA Cup third round replay win at Wolverhampton Wanderers last week. He netted his first senior goal during a late cameo in the 3-1 Premier League win at Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

Liverpool have been keen to tie down their next generation with Tyler Morton having penned a long-term deal earlier this month, Curtis Jones signing a new contract in November and Ben Doak his first professional deal the same month. Harvey Elliott penned a five-year deal last summer.

At 18 and now having spent two uninterrupted years at Liverpool, Bajcetic can be moved to List B in the Champions League squad, thus freeing up a space in List A for January signing Cody Gakpo to feature in the knockout stages. The Reds take on Real Madrid in the round of 16, the first leg of which takes place at Anfield next month.


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