Jurgen Klopp reveals plan for Conor Bradley and Kaide Gordon after fitness news

Jurgen Klopp has revealed that both Conor Bradley and Kaide Gordon are back in full training after long-term injuries, and now “need to play games.”

Heading into a busy run of fixtures to end 2023, Liverpool are in an excellent position when it comes to the fitness of Klopp’s squad.

The return of Ibrahima Konate, Ryan Gravenberch, Curtis Jones and Joe Gomez is a major boost ahead of the clash with Man City, leaving only Thiago, Andy Robertson and Stefan Bajcetic out.

A positive for the longer term is that both Bradley and Gordon, two young players with genuine first-team aspirations, are also back in full training.

Giving an update on the injury situation, Klopp brought the pair up and explained the next steps as they work towards a return at senior level.

Conor Bradley is completely normal in training, but now he needs to play games – starting with the U21s,” the manager said.

Kaide Gordon was with us in training the whole week, which is really exciting.

“[He] looks really good, needs now to gain minutes.”

Gordon, 19, was part of the matchday squad for the 3-2 loss at Toulouse last time out in the Europa League, having already played four times for the U21s this season.

Meanwhile Bradley, 20, has not been involved since the early weeks of pre-season, having suffered a stress fracture in his back after a very busy campaign on loan at Bolton and with Northern Ireland.

Unfortunately, there will be no opportunity for competitive minutes at U21s level until next weekend, with an extended break before a trip to Sunderland on December 3.

Provided they avoid any further setbacks, Bradley and Gordon could be expected to start that clash as they continue to train with the senior squad.

After that there will be an EFL Trophy tie against senior opposition, with Liverpool facing one of Bolton, Bradford, Derby or Doncaster in the round of 32.

KARLSRUHE, GERMANY - Wednesday, July 19, 2023: Liverpool's Conor Bradley during a pre-season friendly match between Karlsruher SC and Liverpool FC at the Wildparkstadion. Liverpool won 4-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Chelsea (December 17) and Feyenoord (December 22) are the only other fixtures for the U21s between now and the end of the year, which should provide Bradley and Gordon with a roadmap to full fitness.

There is a chance, though, that they could be considered for a return to the first team against Union SG in the Europa League (December 14) and West Ham in the Carabao Cup (December 20).

Bradley’s comeback in particular will allow Klopp to reshuffle his pack more in defence, with the youngster considered backup to Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back.