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)

Conor Bradley savouring opportunity ahead of “biggest” pre-season

Conor Bradley is relishing the chance to stake a claim for more minutes next season following his successful loan spell at Bolton.

The full-back made 41 League One appearances last season as he helped Ian Evatt’s side to a playoff spot and glory in the Papa John’s Trophy at Wembley.

He has since returned to Liverpool and has made the trip to Germany with the squad to begin preparations for next season, with Jurgen Klopp hinting that Bradley is among the youngsters for whom the “door is open” in 2023/24.

Bradley is keen to seize the opportunity to impress the manager with both hands, explaining that his approach to pre-season “feels different” than it has in the past.

“Obviously I think every pre-season is going to be the biggest for me but I’m looking forward to this one and seeing how I get on,” the defender told the club’s official website.

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)

“It just feels different to the last time I’ve been on pre-season. I’m fighting for a spot now, I want a spot in this squad. I’m looking to work hard and fight for that spot.”

The 20-year-old joins the squad with ambitions of making an impact after impressing at Bolton and the manager will be keen to assess his defensive options having experimented with a 3-4-3 system in possession towards the end of the campaign.

Bradley insists he is a superior player to the one that left Anfield on a temporary basis 12 months ago and has vowed to “keep working” in an attempt to catch Klopp’s eye.

“I’d say I’m a far better player than last time I was here. I’m really looking forward to the pre-season and trying to show what I’ve got.

“It’s been mad the last couple of years but I just want to keep working, keep going and see where it takes me.”