James Pearce reveals Klopp’s plans for up-and-coming Liverpool duo

Two Liverpool youngsters who spent the 2022/23 season on loan in the Football League could soon be given their opportunity to impress Jurgen Klopp in the Reds’ first team.

Tyler Morton enjoyed regular game-time on loan at Blackburn in the Championship, while elsewhere in the northwest, Conor Bradley helped League One side Bolton to win the EFL Trophy at Wembley.

The duo may soon get their chance to prove their worth to the boss at the parent club, with James Pearce writing for The Athletic that the midfielder ‘will be assessed in pre-season following a productive year’ at Ewood Park.

Regarding the right-back, the reporter stated: “Klopp intends to give opportunities in pre-season to teenager Conor Bradley, who will return to the club after an impressive loan spell at Bolton Wanderers. The Northern Ireland international says the time away toughened him up.”

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The manager’s reported intentions to give Morton and Bradley a chance to impress him during Liverpool’s pre-season programme indicates just how commendably they performed in their respective loan spells in 2022/23.

The former played 46 times in total for Blackburn, including 30 starts in the Championship as Rovers narrowly fell short of a play-off finish (Transfermarkt).

Caoimhe O’Neill noted in an article for The Athletic during the campaign that ‘any Blackburn fan will tell you Morton has been one of the club’s best players so far this term’, a telling indicator as to how productive a spell the 20-year-old had under Jon Dahl Tomasson.

Meanwhile, Bradley featured 53 times altogether for Bolton, starting in all but five of those as the Trotters clinched a play-off berth but were eliminated by Barnsley.

He ended the season with a very impressive tally of seven goals and six assists from right-back, illustrating an attacking threat of which Trent Alexander-Arnold would be proud, while he’s also been a regular starter for Northern Ireland over the past 12 months at just 19 (Transfermarkt).

His compatriot Chris Brunt gushed: “He is fearless, he is a hundred miles an hour and never stops running. He is like a breath of fresh air, really.” (BBC Sport)

The leap from impressing in the Football League to establishing oneself in the Liverpool first team is a significant one, although Morton and Bradley have both earned the right to see what they can do among their illustrious Anfield teammates this summer.

If they strike the right chords under Klopp, they could see sporadic game-time in domestic cups or the Europa League, or potentially gain further loan moves a step up from their last (Premier League club for the midfielder, ambitious Championship side for the right-back) if their pathway to the Reds’ first team remains blocked.

Hopefully they can both make the most of the opportunity they’re in line to get during July and early August.

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