Conor Bradley: NI team-mate Dion Charles says Liverpool youngster 'can go as far as he wants'

Conor Bradley
Bradley joined Liverpool from Dungannon United in 2019

Euro 2024 qualifiers: Finland v Northern Ireland

Venue: Olympic Stadium, Helsinki Date: Friday, 17 November Kick-off: 17:00 BST

Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Sounds and BBC Radio Ulster; live text and report on BBC Sport website; highlights on BBC One NI

It is a matter of when and not if Conor Bradley breaks into the Liverpool first team, says his Northern Ireland team-mate Dion Charles.

The pair were club colleagues last season at Bolton when Bradley, 20, had an impressive loan spell.

Full-back Bradley returned to Anfield in the summer but injury has prevented him from adding to his five Liverpool appearances.

"Conor is incredible," said Charles said. "He can go as far as he wants."

Bolton striker Charles, 28, added: "That kid has everything, he's intelligent, such a good player.

"The biggest thing about his mentality is he wants to learn, he wants to get better, so when he's back fit it will be interesting to see not if, but when, he gets in the Liverpool team."

Having signed for Liverpool as a teenager in September 2019, Bradley fought his way into the first-team picture and played five times for Jurgen Klopp's side before his loan move to Bolton.

He made 53 appearances for the League One club, helping them win the Papa Johns Trophy while also scooping Bolton's Young Player, Players' Player and Player of the Season awards.

Klopp said in April the Dungannon United graduate would get a chance to break into his starting line-up this season, but his progress was curtailed by a back injury.

As a right-back who can also play in a more advanced midfield role, Bradley would likely need to dislodge England international Trent Alexander-Arnold from the side - but Charles has backed him to do that.

"The type of character Conor is, he'll be with him [Alexander-Arnold] every single day, brushing shoulders with them, so it's only going to make him better for the future," added Charles, who is preparing for Northern Ireland's final two Euro 2024 qualifiers against Finland and Denmark.

"When Conor first came to Bolton he hadn't played much senior football and he played like a 30-year-old. He plays like someone so experienced - Conor is incredible."

Bradley has made a strong impact as an international footballer since his debut as a 17-year-old in May 2021, with his dynamic, all-action style already making him a favourite among the Northern Ireland supporters.

He started all three of his country's opening three Euro 2024 qualifiers and was one of the better performers for O'Neill.

But he has missed the last five games through injury - and remains absent for this double-header.

Bradley has 13 international caps and Charles, who himself has played 20 times for his country, is keen to see his former Bolton team-mate return to the Northern Ireland fold.

"Conor has been a big miss, he would be a big miss for any team," he added.

"The type of player he is, especially when he was at Bolton, when Conor is on the ball you feel like he is going to do something and it's always great to have a player like that around us.

"He's quiet, keeps himself to himself but he's a good kid."