With Trent Alexander-Arnold playing such a key role as Liverpool’s right-back, there were some fears in the summer that Liverpool would be gambling by going into the season with just Bradley to deputise.
With Bradley suffering from prolonged injury problems, Joe Gomez was Alexander-Arnold’s deputy in the early part of the season.
"What an atmosphere, what a football game… it was a screamer!" ?
Jurgen Klopp heaps praise on Conor Bradley after a Man of the Match performance at Anfield ?
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) January 31, 2024
This gave Bradley the opportunity he had hoped for, to get a run of games at right-back, and he has certainly seized the moment, he has five assists and a goal from five successive starts.
“Think back in the summer, I think there were quite a few people who said we need another right-back for different reasons.
“We really were very positive about Conor like we were about [Jarell] Quansah, I think a really big step made.
“[For] the other boys, that’s really, really important because with all the injuries we had, we cannot put a string of results together if these boys don’t show up.”
Had Liverpool signed a right-back to deputise for Alexander-Arnold, Bradley may never have received his opportunity.
It is no accident that the opportunity arose for the youngster, though. Klopp added: “He has the biggest advocates in the club in three years already.
“Pep Lijnders is already in my ears..
“Vitor Matos and Pep are very integral in this club because really they are advocates for the kids. My job is the easiest one, I just have to put them on the pitch.”
Along with Klopp, both Lijnders and Matos are to leave at the end of the season. When Klopp leaves, his successor needs to ensure the link between academy and first team remains strong.