Liverpool player named ‘next Steven Gerrard’ can be Klopp’s saviour | Football | Sport

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Liverpool‘s Conor Bradley – who has been compared to Steven Gerrard by one of his former coaches – has just become a massive player for Jurgen Klopp again ahead of a crucial next few weeks. It was confirmed yesterday that Trent Alexander-Arnold will miss at least the next three matches due to a re-aggravated knee ligament injury.

The vice-captain will miss the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea, the same side who Bradley shone against in the Premier League last month. The 20-year-old right-back assisted Diogo Jota’s opening goal, arrowed a brilliant effort into the far bottom corner to double the lead then crossed to Dominik Szoboszlai to make it 3-0 in a 4-1 victory.

Bradley has missed Liverpool’s last two games on compassionate leave following the death of his father. Before that, the defender had produced one goal and four assists in five successive starts while Alexander-Arnold was absent.

The Northern Ireland international returned training earlier this week and is likely to be jettisoned straight back into the starting line-up this weekend. The Reds face Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday (12.30pm).

Joe Gomez is the other option to start over Bradley. Curtis Jones deputised at right-back in the second half of the win over Burnley in which Alexander-Arnold was forced off at half-time. Gomez was absent with illness against the Clarets.

But Bradley’s form means he should be the No. 1 choice in the position for as long as Alexander-Arnold is absent. He should start at Brentford and in the cup final against Chelsea, with Gomez a contender to replace him versus Luton next Wednesday night.

The No. 84’s rapid rise comes after he was likened to Gerrard. His former youth coach Joe McAree told the Belfast Telegraph: “The first opportunity that Conor gets in my opinion to play the Steven Gerrard midfield role, they will see an even better player. No one will change my mind on that.

“It’s because of his ability to get from box to box and his quality of passing. He can see a killer pass. Not only has he the ability to control and pass a football, he has an outstanding engine. He’s a fantastic player who can go very far in the game. We played him in the centre of midfield and he was different class – a joy to work with.”

Bradley reproducing the form that he was in prior to his absence would be a massive help to Klopp given how important a player Alexander-Arnold is. Only Darwin Nunez (11) has more assists than Trent and no other player comes close to creating as many chances as he does per 90 (2.10).

Liverpool academy graduate Bradley showed in matches against Chelsea and Norwich, in the FA Cup, that he can be a devastating force going forward. He has also impressed defensively against the likes of Raheem Sterling, Luis Sinisterra, Willian and Gabriel Martinelli.

Gomez will also be asked to share the burden of Alexander-Arnold’s absence, of course, but the position is up for grabs for Bradley – who is stylistically similar to Andy Robertson. The Northern Irishman will become even more popular inside Anfield than he already is if he can help keep Liverpool’s title tilt on track and also win the Carabao Cup.


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