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Bradley: There is room for Trent and myself in the starting lineup


Conor Bradley believes that his versatility is a reason why he can stay in the team once Trent Alexander-Arnold returns to full fitness.


The Northern Irishman has been one of the revelations of the campaign for the Reds making 18 appearances in all competitions to date this season and not looking out of place one but, be it at a packed Anfield, in the Europa League or at Wembley in a League Cup final.


While the brilliance of Alexander-Arnold is undisputed, there had been a fear that if he was out for a sustained period through injury, the field of back-ups in the squad was quite shallow.


Joe Gomez has shown to be a dependable figure when asked to play that role but he is a central defender by trade.


Calvin Ramsey was thought to be someone that could blossom into the role but unfortunately for him, successive knee injuries put pay to any momentum he would have wanted to build and presently he is barely making the bench on loan at Bolton.


Misfortune for one player is an opportunity for another and Bradley has grabbed his with aplomb from an outstanding season on loan at Bolton last season.


So well has his progress been that Bradley is now seen a very important member of the first team set-up.


The question was posed to the 20 year-old (per The Echo) whether there is a way he can keep his spot in the starting X1 once Alexander-Arnold returns from his own knee injury.


Yes, possibly,” . “Trent is an unbelievable footballer and I think he could play pretty much anywhere.


It is a difficult one (vying for the same position). It is a blessing in a way because I can learn so much off Trent. He has had a similar pathway to me coming through the academy.


“There are so many things I can take from him, the way he plays football, the way he conducts himself everyday and how hard he works.


“It’s difficult obviously coming into one of the best teams in the world and trying to break through and prove that you’re good enough to play every week.”


The academy graduate knows you have to be flexible enough to make the grade and he outlined where he thinks he could be of additional use to Jurgen Klopp in this pivotal time of the season.


“I think it is massive to be versatile. It helps the manager to pick you when he knows you can play in certain positions


“I played as a winger all the way up through youth football and when I was deployed to play there the other night for Northern Ireland, I really enjoyed it.




“It took me some time (to adapt). I was Under-18s when I got moved back and I didn’t really know what I was doing to be honest, but I think I’ve learned quite quickly how to play the full-back role.


“Obviously when you’re playing for Liverpool, you may as well be a winger when you’re playing full-back. You get so much of the ball, in so many attacking scenarios. You get a lot of joy playing higher up.


“I’m still learning my trade, but I think I’m a bit better than I was (at full-back), definitely. I enjoy the challenge of playing new positions and learning about them. It is really good and really important to learn about them and be good at them too.”


There seems to always be a certain time in a mind of a young player when he reaches that moment that sees him undaunted and unaffected by the big stage, where they deserve to stand alongside the likes of Virgil Van Dijk and Mo Salah among others.


Bradley talked about that exact moment for himself.




“It was probably that (Chelsea at Anfield) game where I thought, ‘Right, I can do this’. I just need to be consistent with it and try and do things like that as much as I can. That was a big moment for me where I realised that this is possible for me and I can do it.


“My friends were over for the game so they were back at my apartment after the game and I just remember saying to them, ‘What’s just happened?’ It was like crazy. I just couldn’t believe what was happening to be honest with you.”


There are sacrifices you have to make especially when you graduate from the academy and aim to progress into senior Football.


For many young players, that means going on loan, and it can go one of two ways. While many struggle to adjust the highly physical nature of the Championship and League One, for others like Bradley, they thrive and it sets them on their way.




"That time (at Bolton) moulded me as a player. It is a tough, gruelling league, League One and for me to get 53 games under my belt was really good for me. To get a couple of goals and a couple of assists, too, was good for my confidence.


“It helped me to know I could play ‘men’s football’ and so coming back to Liverpool I was ready to go. It was just unfortunate that I got the injury, but when I came back, I was just focused on trying to do my best and luckily I have had some opportunities.”



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