Irish teenager Conor Masterson was included in Liverpoolâ€™s 27-man squad for this weekâ€™s Spanish training camp in La Manga. The youngster seems destined for a bright futureâ€¦
Jurgen Klopp has taken advantage of Liverpoolâ€™s two week break to travel to La Manga for a training camp. The Reds boss included several teenagers in his squad, including Yan Dhanda and Irish defender Conor Masterson.
â€œI knew them both from training with us already,â€ Klopp explained to the Liverpool Echo. â€œWe could have taken Rhian Brewster or a few other guys but Yan Dhanda and Conor Masterson are the next boys.”
â€œI know all of the boys and thatâ€™s really cool. Itâ€™s a good group. They have worked well, really good attitude. Yan and Conor have fitted in well.â€
Mastersonâ€™s rise at Anfield has been rapid since swapping Lucan United for Liverpool at the age of 13. The centre half is the current captain of the u18 side, and heâ€™s also a regular for the Ireland u19 side.
The Dubliner was handed the armband for the Liverpool u18 side when Trent Alexander-Arnold was promoted to the u23 side. Alexander-Arnold has gone from strength to strength since, and has produced some excellent performances under Klopp when called upon this season.
The Dubliner was also included in the Reds squad to face Exeter City in the FA Cup third round at the beginning of 2016, named on the bench for the 2-2 draw.
Masterson is tall and athletic, and comfortable stepping out of defence in possession. Liverpoolâ€™s problems at centre back are no secret, so there is a path to the first team for Masterson if his rapid progress continues.
The Irishman is unlikely to feature for the first team this season, but will be hoping to gain some opportunities in pre-season ahead of next season, which might also see him gain some match time in the cup competitions.
He will progress to the u23 in the coming months, and don’t be surprised to see him in the first team at Anfield in the coming years.