Caoimhe O’Neill has named one Liverpool player who she believes could make a ‘genuine impact’ at Anfield next term.
A number of youngsters have been given opportunities by Jurgen Klopp during the Reds’ pre-season, with Conor Bradley at right-back among the standouts.
In a piece for The Athletic, writers were asked to name players who could potentially make a significant breakthrough during the upcoming Premier League campaign.
When it came to Liverpool, O’Neill wrote: “The 20-year-old should be getting plenty of minutes next season in the cup competitions and if Trent Alexander-Arnold is used in midfield, the Northern Ireland international will be first in line to take his place.”
She’s also backed Curtis Jones to ‘carry on’ his fine form from the end of last term and believes that the rise of Stefan Bajcetic will ‘be impossible to taper’ once he regains full fitness.
Of the numerous talented youngsters on the cusp of a possible breakthrough at Liverpool, Bradley could indeed be one to smash through the glass ceiling during the next nine months.
He started both of the Reds’ pre-season games in Germany over the past fortnight and would likely have done so against Leicester on Sunday too if he weren’t left at home to recover from a minor injury issue.
Klopp doesn’t have a natural senior right-back alternative for Trent in the current squad, and with a very strong chance of the 24-year-old being utilised in the same midfield role in which he flourished towards the end of last term, that could open the door for the Northern Ireland youngster to get his opportunity.
Bradley made a fine impression in the matches against Karlsruher and Greuther Furth, and as O’Neill says, he should be in line to feature in domestic cup competitions and possibly the Europa League in the upcoming campaign.
Who knows, he could follow in the footsteps of Trent and Bajcetic, both of whom were thrown in at the deep end at Premier League level and did so well that they became fixtures in the team.
If he isn’t cruelly struck down by injuries, the 2023/24 season could well go on to be recalled as the one in which the 20-year-old made his genuine breakthrough at Anfield.