Liverpool midfielder Stefan Bajcetic has revealed he will miss the rest of the season due to injury.
The 18-year-old has enjoyed a breakout campaign, making 19 appearances in all competitions and starting nine of their last 12 games.
However, Bajcetic missed Wednesday night’s 1-0 defeat at Real Madrid that sealed Liverpool’s Champions League exit at the last-16 stage, before confirming on Instagram on Thursday that he will not play again this season.
“Unfortunately I’ve picked up an injury that will keep me out until the end of the season,” the Spain U18 international wrote.
“It’s very sad to say goodbye to this amazing season for me but I understand this is part of football and will only make me stronger physically and mentally.
“I would also like to say thank you to you reds for all the support through the season and I assure you I will do my best to be back stronger than ever.”
Fellow Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara is currently sidelined alongside Bajectic due to injury, while Jordan Henderson was absent at the Bernabeu through illness.
Liverpool’s next six fixtures
- Manchester City (A) – Premier League, Saturday April 1, kick-off 12.30pm
- Chelsea (A) – Premier League, Tuesday April 4, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky Sports
- Arsenal (H) – Premier League, Sunday April 9, kick-off 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports
- Leeds (A) – Premier League, Monday April 17, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky Sports
- Nottingham Forest (H) – Premier League, Saturday April 22, kick-off 3pm
- West Ham (A) – Premier League, Wednesday April 26, kick-off 7.45pm
Jurgen Klopp urged his Liverpool side to focus on a potentially defining run of Premier League games after they exited the Champions League with a 6-2 aggregate loss to Real Madrid.
Liverpool needed a miracle to reach the quarter-finals following their 5-2 defeat at Anfield but Karim Benzema’s late strike sealed another deserved victory for the reigning champions.
The defeat means Liverpool’s only remaining target this season is to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League in order to clinch qualification to next year’s Champions League.
Klopp’s side sit six points behind fourth-placed Tottenham following their 1-0 loss to Bournemouth on Saturday and do not play again until their Premier League clash with Manchester City, after the upcoming international break on April 1.
That game at the Etihad Stadium is followed by crucial meetings with a resurgent Chelsea and leaders Arsenal, both of which are live on Sky Sports on April 4 and April 9 respectively.
“If you want to win the competition, you have to be outstanding, and we weren’t tonight, so the result is fair,” Klopp said of Wednesday’s defeat at the Bernabeu in his press conference.
“But of course, it’s the, the, competition, and we want to be part of it every year, and that’s the massive task now.
“When we get back from the international break we have a proper football week ahead of us, with three games, City, Chelsea, Arsenal, which will then probably define what we get out of it.
“People will say that we lost it at Bournemouth, but this week is a pretty decisive one.
“So, we have to hope the boys come back healthy enough, in the right shape, and we will try it.”
Having already exited the domestic cup competitions, Liverpool’s elimination from the Champions League guarantees a trophyless season, but Klopp insists they will give their all to finish as strongly as possible in the Premier League to secure their goal.
“Our job is to squeeze absolutely everything from this season as possible,” he added.
“It’s a strange one so far, just our recent two games, a sensational performance against Man Utd, a very good football team, and a really bad performance against Bournemouth, again a good football team, but we should not lose this game.
“That put us again under more pressure. Three points, and I think everyone would have really felt it, smelt our breath if you like.”
‘Madrid defeat shows how far Liverpool have fallen’
The Daily Mirror’s John Cross on Sky Sports News’ Back Pages:
“I think last season, even the season before that, you really would have fancied Liverpool to put up a fight and pull off another miracle, as they have in the past under Jurgen Klopp, but tonight there was no sign of that.
“The feeling is that they surrendered with a bit of a whimper. We never really felt that energy and intensity that we were expecting to launch some sort of fightback. They had a couple of chances, but it was Madrid who had all the play and possession.
“To be honest, it was a bit of a damp squib. There wasn’t much of a story there and it represents to me just how far they have fallen, bearing in mind these were the two best clubs in Europe last season.
“It was a really close final last year but Liverpool are now out of the Champions League and their best hope of getting back into that competition is the top four and they will really need it to launch the rebuild that Jurgen Klopp wants.”