Chelsea were handed a 4-1 drubbing by Liverpool at Anfield yesterday, with 20-year-old Conor Bradley deservedly emerging as the man of the match after putting in an outstanding performance.
The Reds right-back assisted twice and scored the second goal of the night, but he could have been playing for the Blues had things gone their way some years ago.
According to The Athletic, Chelsea scouted Bradley before he joined Liverpool officially in 2019, with the youngster’s heart always set on the Merseyside club.
The Northern Ireland international joined the Reds from Irish League Premiership club Dungannon Swifts, but he had been training at Liverpool’s Belfast centre of excellence since he was nine, and scouts from Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea among others regularly came to watch him play.
The Blues would have wished he was playing for them instead last night, but joining the Reds at the time was clearly more appealing.
Bradley has played just two Premier League games for Liverpool having spent last season on loan in League One with Bolton Wanderers.
He made his debut for them in September 2021 and has made 14 appearances so far, but he is already looking like a big deal and could give manager Jurgen Klopp some selection headaches for the rest of the season.
Chelsea are not short of options at the back and they have one of the best right-backs in the land in Reece James, but having the Liverpool sensation in their ranks would have been huge for them considering his great potential.
Clubs do not get to sign the majority of the players they scout, and the Blues cannot be blamed for missing out on Bradley but it is unknown whether they ever made any concrete attempt to recruit his services.
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