Liverpool youngsters Conor Bradley and Calvin Ramsay could be genuine options for Jurgen Klopp next season.
The two 19-year-old’s have had very different seasons. While Bradley has excelled on-loan at Bolton Wanderers, Ramsay has had a campaign marred with bad luck and injury.
But writing in his column for the Liverpool Echo, former Reds striker John Aldridge claims that the talent of both players could be key to Jurgen Klopp moving Trent Alexander-Arnold into midfield next season.
“I think Trent looked great in that inverted full-back role [against Arsenal],” wrote Aldo. “I thought he looked really good in there when stepping into midfield.
“I have to say, where we are in midfield, and Trent is one of the best right-backs in the world going forward. Possibly the best right-back in the world going forward. But defensively he needs protection at times.
“He’s still very young and learning his trade in many ways. I’ve always thought he’s got to stick at right-back but where we are, we’ve got Joe Gomez who can play right-back. We’ve got the young lads Ramsay and Bradley who look promising.”
What a difference a year makes
Prior to this season, the futures of both Bradley and Ramsay felt relatively clear. Born within 22 days of each other, it seemed as though the Scotsman being brought in from outside the club was a clear indication that he was seen as Trent Alexander-Arnold’s understudy.
Meanwhile Bradley simultaneously going out on-loan appeared to be an admission that his future probably lay away from Anfield.
Both of those things may still remain true. But after this season, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the young pair’s prospects flipped. After playing just twice for the first-team all year, Liverpool may feel Ramsay needs some time out on-loan to get some football back into his legs.
On the other hand Bradley has already shown himself to be fully ready of first-team football. His displays at Bolton have at least earned him the right to show what he can do in pre-season for the Reds.
With Trent potentially ear-marked for a midfield role next season, there could be an opening there. It’s obviously a big step up from League One to the Premier League, but Bradley has met similar challenges full-on in his short career so far.
Should Alexander-Arnold be moved though, you’d still think Liverpool would need to bring in a player in the transfer market. There’s no question that these are two very promising young players on their books and they’re both probably fine to play second-fiddle to Trent. Whether they’re soon to be even more important than that, only Jurgen truly knows.