Republic of Ireland underage defender named on the bench for Liverpool against Manchester City
Republic of Ireland underage defender Conor Masterson has been named on the bench tonight for Liverpool's Champions League quarter-final first leg against Manchester City at Anfield.
Masterson has been called up from the club's U23 side to provide injury cover for Cameroonian international Joel Matip who will be sidelined for the rest of the season with a thigh injury.
England international Joe Gomez and centre-back Ragnar Klavan have also been ruled out of the tie leaving Masterson, Dejan Lovren and club record signing Virgil van Dijk as the only available centre-backs in the Liverpool matchday squad.
Masterson's former club Lucan United confirmed the news on their club Twitter account on Wednesday morning with club chairperson Keith Hyland also confirming the report to SportsJOE.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 4, 2018
Great News at 11-10 today. Conor Masterson was pulled aside by Klopp to let him know he is in the squad tonight.
— Lucan United FC (@lucanunited) April 4, 2018
Conor Masterson has been named on the Liverpool bench for tonight's Champions League quarter final tie again Manchester city.
Read my article below.https://t.co/RJ94wxVKPv
— Jonathan Higgins (@Jhiggins3) April 4, 2018
Masterson will be the first Irish player to feature in a Champions League matchday squad for Liverpool since former Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane started and scored in the Reds 3-1 win over PSV in December 2008.
It's an incredible opportunity for the Dubliner 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.