Who is Conor Bradley? Liverpool fans could reportedly see the player at senior level for the first time next season.
Who is Conor Bradley?
Conor Bradley is a 17-year-old full-back from Northern Ireland currently in Liverpool’s academy system.
He joined the club back in 2019 from Dungannon United and then signed his first senior contract a year later.
Bradley, who turns 18 next month, is already playing regularly at Under 23 level, despite the age gap. He did mainly feature for the Under 18s towards the end of last season, however, as he formed part of the Youth Cup squad.
That squad reached the final, of course, though eventually lost to Aston Villa.
Bradley’s performances grew his reputation dramatically, though. Enough that Northern Ireland handed him a full international debut on May 30th.
Now he could be set for a similar jump with the Liverpool senior side.
Could we see Bradley next season?
The Athletic claims it’s very possible. Neco Williams wants first-team football next season and will push for a transfer.
Liverpool don’t plan on signing a replacement right-back, however. Instead, they’ll back Joe Gomez and Bradley to cover Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Now, being third in line probably isn’t the case. Instead, we imagine Bradley is simply a long-term option there, rather than someone they’ll back in big games next season.
We’ll still probably see certain midfielders get the nod over Bradley, as well as Gomez and Alexander-Arnold.
But if Liverpool do see Bradley as a potential option, they’re likely more concerned about not blocking his progress. They won’t want a Kostas Tsimikas-style signing if they believe the 17-year-old is something special.
It’s the same way we don’t see a squad option arriving on the right wing as long as Harvey Elliott is coming through. See also: Curtis Jones in midfield.
This isn’t to say we definitely won’t see Bradley next season, though. Jurgen Klopp has often given youngsters a taste of first-team football at times, particularly towards the end of campaigns.
Williams, Jones and Elliott are fine example of that from 2020. Before that we saw Alexander-Arnold and Ben Woodburn get minutes to aid their development.
So that’s likely the role for Bradley. He’s still very young and Liverpool will want to test him before relying on him. Then if all goes to plan, he’ll effectively take on Williams’ role as a long-term option with great potential.