Belfast Telegraph

Who is Conor Masterson? All you need to know about the Irishman in Liverpool's Champions League squad

By Gareth Hanna

Have a look through Liverpool's Champions League squad and you'll notice the name of a teenage Irishman. But just who is Conor Masterson?

Every club participating in the group stages of the Champions League has to submit two lists with the B List reserved for players born on, or after, January 1 1995. That's where Masterson finds himself, alongside the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ben Woodburn. Here's all we know about him...

1. Masterson is a Dubliner

He was born on September 9th 1998 (Happy 19th Birthday for tomorrow, Conor) and he grew up playing for his local west-Dublin club Lucan United.

2. He's a ball-playing centre-half

That's according to the Liverpool Echo, who reckon he is a 'good size' and said: “He’s got an excellent pass on him and is perfectly capable of sending a good diagonal ball to the wings from the edge of his box. He can also step out well with the ball at his feet.”

3. He was a reportedly big-money signing

Masterson, at the age of just 13, signed for Liverpool in 2012 on what was then reported to be a €1 million deal. The likes of Manchester United and Chelsea were both said to be interested when he shone at the Kennedy Cup - the most famous trophy in Irish Schoollboy football. He actually joined up with the Anfield club on his 16th birthday.

Masterson met Kenny Dalglish and then boss Brendan Rodgers before he signed for Liverpool. He later told the Liverpool club website: "When I first visited the club, everyone was so friendly and welcoming towards me. I have really settled in at the Academy and I have made lots of new friends here. It's a great club and that's the reason I chose to come here."

4. The FAI know all about his talents

Conor was named as the FAI's International Player of the Year in 2015 and received his award from then Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.

He has played 10 games for Ireland U17s and also played 10 times for the Under 19s during their 2016/17 season.

5. A Champions League debut?

Masterson has had experience of joining up with Liverpool's first team - having joined Klopp's squad for a mid-season training trip to Spain in February and been named as an unused substitute against Exeter in the FA Cup. However, he has yet to actually take to the pitch in a senior game. He is highly rated at the club and captained the under 18s last season before progressing to the Under 23s.

Liverpool squad for Champions League group stages: Simon Mignolet, Loris Karius, Danny Ward, Dejan Lovren, Ragnar Klavan, Alberto Moreno, Andy Robertson, Joel Matip, Jon Flanagan, Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner, Philippe Coutinho, Jordan Henderson, Marko Grujic, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Emre Can, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Daniel Sturridge, Sadio Mane, Dominic Solanke.

B-List: Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Conor Masterson, Cameron Brannagan, Ovie Ejaria, Rhian Brewster, Ben Woodburn, Harry Wilson.

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