"Can't rely on..." - Former Liverpool star claims youngster can't solve major issue for Klopp
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Former Liverpool winger Stewart Downing has insisted Jurgen Klopp can't rely on Stefan Bajcetic every game.
Bajcetic might have expected to find himself on the fringes of first team football this season, but a plague of injuries has seen him thrust into the spotlight, starting matches against Real Madrid and Manchester United.
Most recently, the 18-year-old played alongside fellow teenager Harvey Elliott in the heart of midfield against Bournemouth, with the experienced Fabinho completing the trio.
The Reds were aiming for a repeat of their 9-0 demolition of the Cherries in the reverse fixture at Anfield last year.
However, Philip Billing's first half strike proved enough to steal all three points in a 1-0 victory for Gary O'Neil's men, yielding Liverpool to their eighth Premier League defeat of the season.
Mohamed Salah blew the chance to draw his side level from the penalty spot, as Klopp was left scratching his head upon the final whistle.
Downing makes Bajcetic claim
The Reds' midfield have borne the brunt of the criticism this season, and whilst Bajcetic has provided some much-needed hope for the future, Downing reckons they can't rely on him just yet.
When asked about Liverpool’s midfield quandary, Downing told the Football Daily podcast: “You can’t rely on Bajcetic as an 18-year-old to play every game.
“As good as he’s been, I think he’s been really, really good, he’s probably given Klopp food for thought going forward in terms of his future.
“I think he’s one that could play in the squad.”
Liverpool are expected to heavily invest in their midfield during the summer transfer market, with Klopp having identified Jude Bellingham as his priority.
However, the 19-year-old will not come cheap, and is expected to cost in excess of £100 million.
In addition, Real Madrid are thought to have stepped up their pursuit of the England international, as they look to lure Bellingham to the Bernabeu.
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Topics: Liverpool, Premier League, Jurgen Klopp, Football