Conor Bradley won five tackles against Norwich City in a very solid debut. It’s a performance that puts one teammate under huge pressure.
Many expected Kaide Gordon to debut against Norwich City but Conor Bradley was a small surprise. Not because he’s not rated highly – Bradley is one of the more impressive youngsters at the club – but because it was a risk.
After all, with Gordon playing on the right, putting another very inexperienced debutant behind him was Liverpool taking a real chance. But the Reds took that chance, throwing in Bradley against Premier League opposition.
Now, the 18-year-old isn’t entirely new to senior football. He does have three caps for Northern Ireland already – a sign that his talent isn’t just recognised at Liverpool. But this was a new kind of test for the youngster.
And it’s one we’d argue he passed. It is up for debate, of course, as Bradley actually conceded a penalty in the 3-0 win. Fortunately, Caoimhin Kelleher saved it.
Conor Bradley wins 5 tackles
On the whole, Bradley did everything Liverpool needed him to. He was defensively solid, winning five tackles out of six attempts.
The teenager was composed in possession, too. Only Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez completed more passes than Bradley, while he also created three chances. No Liverpool player created more.
That’s a lot to shout about then and it’s a performance that immediately puts Neco Williams under pressure. The Welshman has been Liverpool’s no.2 right-back for a couple of years now but Bradley thrust himself into the competition, here.
He showed the creativity that Liverpool love from full-back, while he was also strong defensively. In fact, Jurgen Klopp made mention of just how physically strong the teenagers looked.
That’s something Williams has often had held against him – that he’s not physically strong enough to contest opposition wingers. Bradley, though, showed he has no such trouble.
And with that, perhaps we have a new backup right-back at Liverpool. Williams will be begging for a chance to answer back.