LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 1, 2022: Liverpool's Conor Bradley during the pre-match warm-up before the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool FC Under-23's and Manchester United FC Under-23's at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Liverpool youngster pulls off world-leading feat in breakthrough season

Liverpool youngster Conor Bradley has enjoyed breakout success on loan at Bolton this term, and his parent club will be delighted with his minutes.

Bradley joined Bolton on a season-long loan last summer and quickly established himself as a key player for Ian Evatt’s side.

A first-choice starter on the right flank, the 19-year-old went on to score seven goals and lay on six assists in 53 games for the League One club.

He helped Bolton win the Papa John’s Trophy – a competition Liverpool under-21s were knocked out of at the group stage – as well as reach the playoff semi-finals in the league.

Now set to return to Merseyside for pre-season with the Reds, his progress could hardly have gone better in the eyes of Jurgen Klopp and his staff.

Fundamentally, Bradley was given the game time required to develop – but Liverpool may not have expected him to pull off the feat he has this season.

2MF4J00 Conor Bradley #21 of Bolton Wanderers during the Sky Bet League 1 match Bolton Wanderers vs Forest Green Rovers at University of Bolton Stadium, Bolton, United Kingdom, 24th January 2023 (Photo by Phil Bryan/News Images)

In fact, he has played more minutes for club and country this campaign than any other teenager in world football.

Bradley has clocked 4,723 minutes on the pitch so far, as per Transfermarkt, which is beyond the next-highest teenager, Anderlecht’s Zeno Debast (4,629).

Three players linked with Liverpool this summer – centre-back Antonio Silva (4,476) and midfielders Jude Bellingham (4,323) and Alex Scott (4,248) – are also in the top 10.

No teenager has made more appearances than Bradley (57), either, with Andy Diouf, on loan at Basel from Rennes, turning 20 before his 58th game this term.

The Northern Irishman is 43rd in terms of minutes played across all age groups, and 28th when it comes to outfielders, with Alisson (4,760) the only Liverpool player to clock more ahead of the final game of the season.

Conor Bradley wants to take the next step with Northern Ireland after impressing on loan at Bolton (Niall Carson/PA)

Bradley’s tally for 2022/23 is likely to go up, too, with Northern Ireland to play Denmark (June 16) and Kazakhstan (June 19) before the campaign is officially over.

Availability is a quality that cannot be undersold when it comes to top-level football, and Bradley has come through his first full season as a senior professional with an outstanding record.

He only missed the squad on six occasions in Bolton’s 59-game season, featuring in all of the remaining 53 and starting 48 of those.

No other Bolton player made more appearances, and only James Trafford, the goalkeeper on loan from Man City, clocked more minutes.

Bradley has also started five of a possible eight games for Northern Ireland this season, coming off the bench in two others.