Jurgen Klopp‘s decision to shift to a 3-4-3 formation, when in possession, heightens the importance of Alexander-Arnold to the team as he assumes an inverted position.
While this poses defensive questions and an avenue for the opposition to exploit, it also enables one of Liverpool’s best users of the ball to ask the same of the other team.
A big concern will be what Liverpool do when the vice-captain needs a rest or picks up an injury, which we hope will not be a frequent consideration.
Bradley was deployed in the role in his two pre-season outings before he picked up a minor injury, and as he looked ahead to the new season, he hinted at his role as the No. 66’s understudy.
“I think I did well [in pre-season],” Bradley told the club website.
“Obviously, it was different for me playing in a different position and inverted, so I really enjoyed it and it was good. I think I did well.
“I just want to play as many games as I can. And any time I do get the chance to play, I just want to try to do the best I can and hopefully that goes well for me.”
It is not a huge revelation but it represents a significant opportunity for 20-year-old Bradley in what is the early stages of his burgeoning career.
He will no doubt continue to watch Alexander-Arnold closely in training and in matches as he aims to help make it as seamless as possible for when his opportunities do arise.
The cup competitions will be his avenue into the side but his loan spell with Bolton last season and his brief cameos during pre-season showed what he is capable of.
“Obviously, I’m massively different, I feel like I’ve come on leaps and bounds since my loan, so it really helped me,” Bradley reflected on his time with Bolton.
“It was a good year and I really enjoyed it. I’m really looking forward to this year and seeing what I can do.”