Dubliner could appear on the bench for Liverpool against Manchester City
Republic of Ireland underage defender Conor Masterson could be named in Liverpool's matchday squad for Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg tie with Manchester City.
Liverpool defender Joel Matip was ruled out for the rest of the season with a thigh injury on Tuesday and Masterson could now be one of three defenders to replace the Cameroonian international in the Liverpool squad.
Youngsters Conor Masterson, Herbie Kane, Curtis Jones and Nat Phillips all training with a depleted #LFC squad at Melwood.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) April 3, 2018
Dubliner Conor Masterson trained with Liverpool tonight ahead of game v Man City. Could make the bench as three central defenders are unavailable.
Robbie Keane v PSV was the last Irish player to play for Liverpool in the champions league, December 2008.
— Dave Kelly (@DAVEKELLY4) April 3, 2018
Centre-back Dejan Lovren will likely earn a start at centre-back while Masterson could line up on the bench with Ragnar Klavan and Joe Gomez both unavailable through injury.
Midfielder Emre Can has previously played at centre-back and may be able to provide some emergency cover off the bench should anything happen to Lovren or Virgil van Dijk, but a squad selection would be huge for Masterson who was playing against City in the UEFA Youth League quarter-finals only three weeks ago.
The 19-year-old previously captained Ireland in two of the UEFA U17 Championships Qualifying Round games against Gibraltar and Scotland.
He played all ten games for the U19s in the 2016-17 season having made his debut against Ukraine the previous year.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp lamented the loss of Matip but added that Liverpool must be able to deal with their injuries.
“If there is a centre-half I’m open for talks,” the Liverpool manager joked on Tuesday. “It is a big blow. He is a very good player and we need him. We need all the boys until the rest of the season.
“He was surprised, he didn’t think it was that serious until we saw the scan. If, at the same moment, we miss Ragnar who is a big doubt for tomorrow and we have no chance to take the risk.
“We need to be sensible and make the right decision. Joe Gomez is not in for two or three weeks. The moment when you get the information is not really cool but then you start dealing with it.”