LINZ, AUSTRIA - Thursday, September 21, 2023: Liverpool's Stefan Bajcetic during the UEFA Europa League Group E matchday 1 game between LASK and Liverpool FC at the Raiffeisen Arena. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool coach explains plan behind “exciting” Stefan Bajcetic at right-back

While Stefan Bajcetic‘s return from injury has seen him deployed at right-back, Liverpool coaches do not view him as a long-term option in that role.

Bajcetic made his first appearance for Liverpool since March when he started in the Europa League trip to LASK, filling in for Joe Gomez at right-back.

The teenager occupied the hybrid role adapted for Trent Alexander-Arnold, clocking 61 minutes as he works his way back from a long-term adductor injury.

He is expected to start in the same position when Leicester visit Anfield in the League Cup on Wednesday night, but previewing that tie, assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders insisted his future is in midfield.

“It’s not easy with all the games, there are not many who can play that position like Trent does,” Lijnders explained.

“That’s really tricky. That’s why I made a big compliment to Joe Gomez.

“Stefan is this player who last year, from a coach’s point of view, played on the six and was just exciting, no?

“Because he plays passes, dictates the game in a different way to Alexis or other midfielders we had.

“He’s this proper, proper talent, so you want to see him in the middle of the pitch.

“So it would not make sense to just play him as a right-back and use him as a right-back like in the past or whatever.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 19, 2023: Liverpool's substitute Stefan Bajcetic warms-up during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Alexander-Arnold has rejoined training after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury, but will not be considered for the squad in midweek.

That leaves Jurgen Klopp with the decision over starting Joe Gomez again or returning to Bajcetic as right-back, with the latter seemingly more likely to allow him valuable game time.

“It’s not easy to find the right player if Joe or Trent can’t play,” Lijnders continued.

“But we need to find solutions as well, because Stefan, he’s coming back from a long-term injury, so it’s not possible for him to play constantly.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 20, 2023: Liverpool's Jarell Quansah (L) with Liverpool’s Stefan Baj?eti? during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group E match between LASK and Liverpool FC. (Pic by Andrew Yeats/Propaganda)

“We need to find solutions in that position.

“It’s good that Trent is training – yesterday he was on the pitch – it’s good that Joe is performing how he is performing.

“And it’s nice for Stefan to play a game there, but it was his first game as a [right-back]. He play a lot of games at centre-half, but not at full-back.”