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Joe Cole says Liverpool have a 20-year-old who looks like he’s going to be ‘world-class’

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Liverpool annihilated Sparta Prague to make it into the Europa League quarter-finals tonight.

The Reds were four goals to the good after just 14 minutes. The highlight being Bobby Clark grabbing his first goal in senior football. From there on in, there was never any doubt at all.

There were a few eyebrow raising moments still. Virgil van Dijk’s substitution onto the pitch after 70 minutes or so was perhaps unneeded. So too, were 90 minute displays for the likes of Dominik Szoboszlai and Mohamed Salah.

Another who played the full game was right-back Conor Bradley. With Trent Alexander-Arnold still missing through injury, Bradley is a nailed on starter right now. And according to Joe Cole speaking post-game on TNT Sports the 20-year-old is now really pushing Trent for a full-time spot in the XI.

“It’s a fantastic problem to have, two fantastic players,” said the former Liverpool winger. “Trent’s clearly a world-class player and Conor Bradley is well on his way to becoming that already.”

Bradley on his way

‘World-class’ is certainly a big word to use when describing a young player who has barely played 20 games for Liverpool. We’d hesitate before burgeoning Bradley with such hefty praise.

Nevertheless, you can see where Cole is coming from. The Northern Ireland international has been so consistent since initially coming into the team in January.

With other young players around him, Bradley almost has the feeling of being a senior pro already.

Having played a decent amount of times for his country already, and spent a full, successful season in men’s football in League One, Conor has proven himself.

Of course, it’s one thing to play in the third division, another entirely to feature regularly for Liverpool. But Bradley has made the step up look relatively simple.

His transition from young hopeful to first-team regular is actually reminiscent of the way Alexander-Arnold made the same step in 2016/17.

Now, Trent is a special player and we must be careful in drawing comparisons between the two. If Bradley doesn’t develop in quite the same way, there’s no need to be alarmed.

As Cole says though, the early signs are indeed very good for Conor. Let’s hope he can keep it going and push on to even greater heights.

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