Jurgen Klopp suggests Liverpool youngster could be brilliant after coming back from loan
Jurgen Klopp has claimed that Liverpool have ‘big hopes’ for 19-year-old Conor Bradley.
The Northern Irishman has now returned to Liverpool having just completed an excellent season on-loan at Bolton Wanderers. And speaking generally about the Reds’ crop of youngsters in his pre-Southampton press conference today, Klopp singled Bradley out as one to watch.
“There are no plans for these boys I spoke about. We want to keep them. If we can give them the opportunity to play we will keep them, definitely, because they have the quality, definitely,” explained the Liverpool boss.
“The next generation after that, that’s a different story maybe, we have to see how we do that. But Conor Bradley’s coming back, was in the building yesterday, I saw him. I had the feeling he grew in the time he had at the other club! We have big hopes for him to be honest.
“Luke Chambers, coming back, other boys coming back. Owen Beck now already back a bit earlier. We have real talents. Tyler Morton, coming back, he’s injured so we will see. But no real plans, the pre-season will start and then we’ll make these kinds of decisions.”
Bradley ready to make his mark
This isn’t the first time Jurgen has name-checked Bradley as a potential first-team player next season. Anyone who’s watched the teenager in action for Bolton this year won’t find that surprising. Bradley was a revlation.
Scooping the club’s Player of the Year award, the young right-back showed himself to be more than ready for senior football. Now, Klopp and co must decide whether he’s ready to take on a bigger role in the Liverpool squad.
A lot of their decision will therefore be based on what they see in pre-season. Bradley will likely be given minutes to show what he can do in friendly matches, and he’ll be kept a close eye on during training you’d imagine, too.
For now, his main competitor for the role of back-up to Trent Alexander-Arnold is set to be fellow youngster Calvin Ramsay. But following a terrible season disrupted by injury, you’d have to say that Bradley should be ahead of the Scotsman in the pecking order.
Of course, that’s all dependent on Liverpool not bringing any more players in in that position. Yesterday’s links with Bayern Munich’s Benjamin Pavard were a reminder that they could yet make a signing.
It also depends quite heavily on Klopp’s plans for Trent. There remains a slight chance that the manager is planning to move the Scouser into midfield permanently. In which case, Liverpool will need a right-back. If Bradley shows enough in pre-season, maybe he can be that man.
So, a lot rests on how Conor returns to the club in July. Hit the ground running, and he could set himself up to be in the senior squad.
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