On-loan Liverpool youngster Conor Bradley has admitted that he doesn’t know if he’ll stay at Anfield next season.
Bradley has had a superb year in League One with Bolton Wanderers, winning the club’s Player of the Year award. The season ended on a sour note for the 19-year-old, as the Trotters were beaten in the playoff semi-final by Barnsley. But all-in-all, Bradley has showcased why he could be an option for Jurgen Klopp next season.
But assessing his loan move and immediate future for The Bolton News, Bradley said that he’s a little in the dark over what comes next for him.
“I am going back to Liverpool, I’ll have a little bit of time off to relax and recover because it has been a long season. I’ll go back in pre-season and then see what happens from there,” said the Northern Ireland international. “Whether I go out on loan again, or stay there, it is up in the air.
“I came here to become a better footballer but I have also become a better person, so I am very thankful to them [Bolton] for all the hard work they have done with me. I am very thankful to them, I wanted to grow up a little bit, toughen up a little bit, so I am glad I got to do that.”
Liverpool set to make Bradley decision
Turning twenty this summer, it’s coming into a crucial period for Bradley at Liverpool. He showed this season that he’s capable of playing at a far higher level than the one Bolton are currently at.
What he does next could very well shape where his long-term future lies.
On the back of his performances in League One, there have been reports that Klopp will take a look at him in pre-season. Given that Jurgen has already played him in the Liverpool first team, that seems very likely.
But things aren’t easy for right-backs at Anfield. Although he’s now settled into his new hybrid midfield role, the expectation is that Trent Alexander-Arnold will continue to primarily be a full-back next year. If that ends up being the case, then there’s simply no way Bradley is getting the game time he needs to develop.
The Europa League could provide a very welcome outlet to get that under his belt. But along with the domestic cups that perhaps still isn’t quite enough.
Bradley has demonstrated how much he can progress with regular first team football afforded to him. To take that away now would feel counter-productive.
So, if we were gamblers we’d say that Bradley heads for a top-half Championship side next season. Do well there, and maybe then the year after that he can start to look more confidently towards a future at Liverpool.