Klopp calls on young Master

by Karl Graham

CONOR Masterson’s future at Liverpool looks even brighter after Jurgen Klopp singled him out as a player who could be next in line to make an impact on the first team.
The 18-year-old former Lucan United star signed a deal – reportedly worth €1m – with Liverpool in 2012 when he was just 13, which would see the centre-back make the move to Anfield when he turned 16.
Since then, the captain of the Liverpool Under-18s side has already been named on the bench by Klopp for last season’s FA Cup game against Exeter but is still waiting to make his debut.
With Liverpool enjoying some time off during last weekend’s FA Cup ties, Klopp chose to bring his side to La Manga for a mid-season training camp and named Masterson in the 27-man panel.
Several players from the club’s academy have been giving a chance to impress since Klopp arrived on Merseyside and the eccentric German spoke highly of the Dubliner when questioned about his inclusion alongside another young prospect in Yan Dhanda.
“I knew them both from training with us already,” the German coach told the Liverpool Echo.
“I also spoke with Pep [Lijnders, the first-team development coach] and it was a logical decision.
“We could have taken Rhian Brewster or a few other guys, but Yan Dhanda and Conor Masterson are the next boys.
“We needed two players and we decided on Yan and Conor.
“I know all of the boys and that’s really cool.
“It’s a good group. They have worked well, really good attitude. Yan and Conor have fitted in well.”
Masterson was initially spotted by Liverpool after he impressed by helping the DDSL side to Kennedy Cup victory in 2012.
His performances in that tournament saw Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea all join Liverpool in expressing an interest in him but, already being a fan of the latter, he decided Kirkby was the best place for him.
Upon his arrival in England, Masterson went straight into the Under-18s side managed by Neil Critchley and has made steady progress ever since.
He has also made appearances for the Under-23s side after Klopp’s arrival.
On the international front, Masterson lined out for the Irish Under-17 side from an early age and has also pulled on the green jersey for the Under-18s.
Masterson always looked like a player with the ability to go places as he stood at 6’0” tall before he even moved to England, and is versatile enough to play in defence, midfield or attack.
What the future holds for the youngster is still unclear but the signs coming out of Anfield are positive and a future international career could be on the horizon.

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