Stefan Bajcetic enjoyed a swift rise up the ranks at Liverpool and the same was to befall him at international level, only for injury to strike.
The 18-year-old confirmed on Thursday that his season is over due to an adductor injury, but he vowed the setback “will only make me stronger physically and mentally.”
It came as a blow to both Liverpool and the midfielder, who quickly became a key member of Jurgen Klopp‘s midfield amid the turmoil in the position.
Back in January, as his Reds breakout continued, a report claimed Bajcetic was in line for a call-up to Spain’s under-21s squad, with a view to a role in this summer’s U21 European Championships.
Manager Santi Denia, who worked with Bajcetic at U19 level, confirmed as much when he announced his squad for the upcoming international break.
“Bajcetic was on the shortlist, now he is injured, but he was going to enter,” Denia told reporters, as quoted by OKdiario.
There had even been speculation that he could be considered for Spain’s senior side, but Luis de la Fuente was not short on midfield options, including Rodri, Pedri, Gavi, Fabian Ruiz and Dani Ceballos.
Thiago, similarly, could not be considered due to injury but without an international appearance since July 2021, he may have already played his last game for Spain.
Bajcetic’s season has been cut short with 12 games remaining and with the injury needing time, he looks all but set to miss out on a chance to represent Spain at the U21 level in the summer.
There is plenty for the 18-year-old to remain positive over as his rehab starts, though, having made significant strides at Liverpool and made those in the Spain set-up take notice.
And as he noted in his social media message, “I assure you I will do my best to be back stronger than ever.”