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Wanderers Complete Conor Coup

Whites secure season-long loan for teenage Liverpool defender

21 June 2022

Wanderers are delighted to confirm the capture of Liverpool defender and Northern Ireland international Conor Bradley in a major coup for the Whites.

The 18-year-old right-back – who has already been capped eight times by his country and made five first-team appearances for Liverpool – has agreed a season-long loan at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Bradley’s arrival follows the return in a season-long loan deal for goalkeeper James Trafford and the signing of left-sided defender Jack Iredale from Cambridge United.

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And teenager Bradley will add competition and a leading pedigree to manager Ian Evatt’s squad when he links up with Wanderers following the players’ return from their pre-season training camp in Portugal.

Evatt said: “This is another deal we are really pleased to get done with a top Premier League club and thanks to Liverpool for allowing Bradley to spend the season with us.

“Conor was a target for us in January. It wasn’t achievable then because Liverpool wanted him for their first team but they’ve trusted us to be the next phase of his development and, again, that’s a huge feather in our cap.

“He has made a superb start to his career for club and country and we are looking forward to working with him next season.

“He has the opportunity here to become a key member of the first team in a position we have been looking to strengthen.

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“It’s an exciting acquisition which again shows the club is heading in the right direction and we really hope Conor has a successful and enjoyable time with us.

“I believe he’s going to be a top, top player, so it’s great for us.”

The highly-rated Bradley joined Liverpool from hometown club Dungannon United in September, 2019 and swiftly made an impact on Merseyside to earn a first professional contract in July 2020.

The right-back featured for the Reds at U18 and U23 level and played in the EFL Trophy in 2020 before graduating to the first-team squad for the first time in pre-season ahead of the 2021/22 campaign when he also signed a new long-term deal at Anfield.

Bradley was then given his senior competitive debut by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp in a Carabao Cup win over Norwich City last September as the Reds began their successful pursuit of the trophy.

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Picture via Liverpool FC

The Tyrone-born defender – who became a full international when he made his debut as a substitute for Northern Ireland in May 2021 before starting in a World Cup qualifier five months later – went on to play in two further rounds of the League Cup last season.

He also started Liverpool’s FA Cup third-round win over Shrewsbury Town as the Reds headed towards a domestic cup double and made a Champions League bow as a late substitute in the Merseysiders’ 2-1 group-stage win at AC Milan last December.

Bradley was nominated for the Premier League 2 player of the year after contributing three goals and eight assists from his 21 appearances as Liverpool’s U32s finished fourth in Division One.

And he rounded off an outstanding season by featuring in three of Northern Ireland’s Nation League ties earlier this month as a team-mate of Wanderers’ striker Dion Charles, who he will join in the Whites’ preparations for the new season next week.


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