On-loan Liverpool youngster Conor Bradley is good enough to become a regular starter at Anfield.
That’s the view of Bradley’s manager at Bolton Wanderers – Ian Evatt. Evatt has been effusive in his praise for Bradley all season. Now, speaking to The Bolton News, the manager says he ‘genuinely believes’ the 19-year-old will go on to shine at Liverpool.
“I’d be optimistic [of keeping Bradley next season] but I genuinely believe he will play for Liverpool, and play regularly, he is that good,” Evatt claimed.
“He is developing and improving all the time. We’d be hopeful that we could get one more year of his education but I’d completely understand if Liverpool felt the need to keep him with them to play for them.” Evatt went on to give an overview of exactly what he’s seen in Bradley that has impressed him so much.
“Conor’s best attribute since he arrived has been his attitude, even though he is a fantastic young player. He isn’t a muscular player, perhaps, but he is wiry, he is strong and aggressive in the way he plays, in the tackle and his pressing,” he explained.
“His understanding of how and when to press is excellent and that is massive credit to Liverpool and the way he has been coached. He has taken to it really well.”
Bradley still with work to do
Evatt may well be correct about Bradley, save for one small detail: he’s battling Trent Alexander-Arnold for a place in the team.
After Trent’s struggles this season, that may not be as one-sided a battle as previously thought. But whatever his current form, the 24-year-old is still one of the most important players for Liverpool. It would be some feat for Bradley to come in and take over his spot.
The Bolton man does have some advantage in that he’s five years Trent’s junior. But given how well he is doing in senior football, you can’t see Bradley waiting around for the Scouser to age.
It’s feasible that Liverpool keep the Northern Ireland international around as back-up next season, though.
He really has shone whilst at Bolton, while Liverpool new-boy Calvin Ramsay just hasn’t got going. Should Ramsay’s issues continue into pre-season this summer, you can see Bradley being kept at the club.
But even then, it’s a big step up from League One to playing for Liverpool. Bradley has done fine in his five appearances for the Reds first-team, that’s true enough. There’s still a long way to go until he’s considered a permanent part of Jurgen Klopp’s squad, though.
For now, there’s no need to put undue pressure on the youngster. Keep doing what you’re doing, Conor. See where it gets you.