Just a season ago, Conor Bradley was seen as an exciting young talent at right back, and potentially a player who could help spell the tired legs of Trent Alexander-Arnold. The young Northern Irishman struggled to find minutes for Liverpool during a season that saw them win two trophies, and come within minutes of two more. In all, Bradley only made it on the pitch for four senior team appearances.
With another exciting young talent in Calvin Ramsay being brought in at right back, Bradley was given leave to go on loan with Bolton Wanderers in search of senior team minutes. Still only 19 years old, Bradley has established himself as one of the top players for the League One side this season with six goals and four assists across all competitions.
It came as no surprise that Bradley started at right wing back for Bolton as they took on Plymouth in front of almost 80,000 fans at Wembley for the Papa Johns EFL Trophy. He was again excellent for Bolton, according to The Athletic’s Caoimhe O’Neill.
“Liverpool loanee Conor Bradley was outstanding for Bolton today as they won the EFL Trophy. He’s 19 and was one of the best players on the pitch at Wembley. I lost count of his sprints forward and back. He’s dependable in defence and calmly creative in attack.”
Liverpool loanee Conor Bradley was outstanding for Bolton today as they won the EFL Trophy. He's 19 and was one of the best players on the pitch at Wembley.— Caoimhe O'Neill (@CaoimheSport) April 2, 2023
I lost count of his sprints forward and back. He's dependable in defence and calmly creative in attack. #bwfc #LFC
In the end, Bolton comfortably won the match 4-0 after taking a 2-0 lead in the first 10 minutes. After the match, Bradley and Manchester City loanee James Trafford endeared themselves to the Bolton faithful even more, handing the trophy to team videographer Marcus Harrison, and then filming him as he got a chance to lift the trophy.
Bradley and Bolton will now turn their focus back to earning promotion to the Championship. The Wanderers sit 5th in the table, good for a playoff spot. There are a jumble of teams hot on their heels for playoff spots, however, so the squad will likely be in a fight until the end of the season.