Conor Bradley finds himself right in the mix at Liverpool all of a sudden. Here's what you need to know about the player.
Injuries at Liverpool have put Conor Bradley into the limelight this season. Joe Gomez had been the Reds' primary backup at right-back, only for both of the senior left-backs to suffer long-term injuries.
As a result, Gomez is playing regularly on the left, allowing Bradley to shift up the pecking order. And with Trent Alexander-Arnold also now injured, the youngster played the full 90 minutes against Fulham in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.
It's all happened very quickly - Bradley was playing League One football last season - and people are likely wondering exactly where he's come form. So here's a quick catch-up on Bradley's career so far.
Conor Bradley - the basics
- Name: Conor Bradley
- Position: Right-back
- Age: 20
- Nationality: Northern Irish
- Clubs played for: Liverpool, Bolton
- National caps: 13 for Northern Ireland
Career so far
Bradley's first club was his local one - St. Patrick's, a tiny club in his hometown. He succeeded there, earning a move to Dungannon Swifts when he was 13, with Dungannon being the largest club in County Tyrone where the youngster is from.
In 2012, though - four years prior to signing for Dungannon - Bradley appeared at Liverpool's development centre in Northern Ireland (per the Belfast Telegraph). His primary school coach alerted staff there to his ability, and so the Reds have had eyes on him for quite some time.
It wouldn't be until 2019 that they formally made him an offer, however. Initially, this was just a scholarship deal for two years but Liverpool made it permanent after just one.
2022/23 saw Bradley move out on loan for a massively successful season at Bolton Wanderers. Despite only being in League One, he impressed enough that Liverpool opted to keep him around this season.
A decision that's now proving to have been the right one.
How did Bradley do at Bolton?
Bradley's spell at Bolton went as well as you could hope for. He played 53 games as a regular in the side, scoring seven goals across the campaign.
But that doesn't explain half of it. Bradley started for Bolton as they won the EFL Trophy last year, playing all 90 minutes in a 4-0 win in the final. The youngster helped them get to the playoffs, too, though they ultimately fell out 2-1 on aggregate to Barnsley.
Above all, though, Bradley's success can be summed up quite nicely by Bolton's awards for last season. The on-loan Liverpool defender was named Player's Player of the Year AND Fan's Player of the Year, as well as sharing Young Player of the Year with James Trafford (now Burnley's regular goalkeeper).
It's not exactly a surprise, then, that Liverpool feel he has something to offer. A player who was 19 for the entirety of last season swept Bolton's awards and it feels like the potential to achieve so much more is right there.
No wonder Jurgen Klopp sounds so excited.