In Chelsea’s 4-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield, 20-year-old defender Conor Bradley put in an impressive performance and deserved his Man of the Match award. He filled in admirably in the absence of Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was out injured.
The young Reds right back assisted on goals by Diogo Jota and Dominik Szoboszlai and scored a goal himself. The player excelled at Bolton Wanderers, his loan spell last season, and could have been at Chelsea if the world lines were different.
According to The Athletic, the London club scouted Bradley before he officially joined Liverpool in 2019, but his heart was always set on Merseyside.
The Northern Ireland international side-back moved from Irish League Premiership side Dungannon Swifts, but has been training at Liverpool’s Belfast Center of Excellence since the age of 9. Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and other scouts visited him regularly to check out his game.
Since getting his first-team start in September 2021, he has played 814 minutes in 14 games and has six assists, and his presence both offensively and defensively from his intense up-and-down movement and clever positioning has annoyed coach Jurgen Klopp in a good way in terms of selection.
His style of play is different from that of the England national team, and he brings a different essence to the team.
Although he is still far ahead of the senior side backs, he has recently played more games in midfield and will be an even more valuable player over the second half of the season.