Jurgen Klopp leaves no doubts over his opinion on Conor Bradley's performance

Jurgen Klopp assessed Conor Bradley's performance for Liverpool against Union SG in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday night. He didn't leave much room for doubt.

Liverpool endured a difficult game at Union SG but that was to be expected. Jurgen Klopp rotated his team heavily, putting out the youngest XI for a European game in the club's history.

That came at a sacrifice, of course. Liverpool lacked any real cohesion, with or without the ball, and struggled to make anything happen. It was a struggle for pretty much all of the youngsters playing the fixture.

One of those was Conor Bradley, who had the unfortunate task of handling Union's most dangerous player. It was going to be difficult for any defender, let alone a 20-year-old with no real Europan experience.

On top of that, Bradley was asked to play Trent Alexander-Arnold's hybrid defensive role - one where he needed to drop into midfield on occasion. It was a lot to take on.

And so it's telling that Klopp had nothing but praise for Bradley after the game. He left no room for doubt, either - this was a learning experience and one that nearly every young player has to go through.

"Conor's a top player," he said, per the Mail's Lewis Steele. "I like him a lot.

"His energy is outstanding, he's a real fighter. It's an important experience.

"I don't think any career ever started without these kinds of games where you have to struggle and survive - Conor did."

Bradley has always shown flashes of quality but didn't really get a chance to do so in this particular Liverpool side. Still, it's telling that he was able to impress Klopp regardless.

And perhaps this really will be the making of him. If Bradley shows he can learn from the game and improve, there's no reason why it can't have been a positive experience despite the struggles.

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