Who is Conor Masterson? All you need to know about Liverpool's Irish defender
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp twice included an Irish defender on the bench last season and with injury worries increasing, the 20-year-old is again being tipped for a senior debut. But just who is Conor Masterson?
Here's a quick guide:
1. Masterson is a Dubliner
He was born on September 9th 1998 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. On the bench
Masterson has had experience of joining up with Liverpool's first team - he was named in the Champions League squad this season and was handed a spot on the bench for the midweek win over Manchester City. He was also an unused substitute in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park in April.
It wasn't his first taste of first-team involvement, having joined Klopp's squad for a mid-season training trip to Spain in February 2017 and been named as an unused substitute against Exeter in the FA Cup.
6. What did he have to say about making the bench in a Champions League quarter-final?
Belfast Telegraph Digital