Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has said he is “completely happy” with Conor Bradley’s display in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Fulham. Liverpool beat Fulham 2-1 thanks to goals from Curtis Jones and Cody Gakpo. Willian scored Fulham’s goal.
Because Liverpool’s starting right-back, Trent Alexander-Arnold, is set for a few weeks on the sidelines and Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas are unlikely to return before February, the chance for Bradley to impress has presented itself, and boy has he taken his chance.
Bradley, a Tyrone native, 20, came on for Liverpool in their 2-0 win over Arsenal on Sunday evening, playing a crucial role in helping Liverpool advance in the FA Cup last weekend. He followed up his impressive display at the Emirates with a convincing game against Fulham’s Willian on Wednesday.
Speaking after the game, Klopp praised the youngster for his performance at Anfield and expects there is more to come from the Liverpool star.
“I’m completely happy,” said Klopp in his post-match press conference.
“I told him before the game already; I was waiting for that moment that we could give him that opportunity. I was really waiting for it because when he got injured in pre-season, my opinion was already high. He was out for a pretty long time.
“He’s a top boy. Today was pretty intense for him. Someone has to drive him home, hopefully, because he’s sitting in the dressing room and doesn’t look great.
“He gave his absolute everything. That’s really nice to see. Really nice to see. The next one is sitting outside on the bench already; that is really cool. He could show how good he is, and of course, there is so much more to come.”
Bradley was involved in Fulham’s opening goal and tried to prevent Willian from scoring, but Brazalian, one of the most impressive performers on the night, kept his composure and found the back of the net.
Klopp added that he was not worried about Bradley’s role in the goal and praised him for not letting his head drop after conceding the opening goal of the game.
“In the first goal, things like this happen. If you’re a defender, you will always be involved in a goal somehow; it’s all about how quickly you can get into the game again, he added.
“I didn’t see any kind of reaction; I liked it a lot.”
The Northern Ireland player has already made five appearances under Klopp and may secure the permanent right-back position if Alexander-Arnold moves into midfield. He has also earned 13 caps for his country.
Also speaking after the game, Bradley praised Trent and described him as the “best right-back in the world.”
“Trent is probably the best right-back in the world at the moment, if not the best player in the world at the moment, with the way he’s playing,” he said.
“He’s a big miss for us, but I just tried to do everything I could to fill in for him, and thankfully we got the win.”
Liverpool’s next game will be against Bournemouth on January 21.”