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Klopp pondering derby debut for Masterson

Conor Masterson is set for his Liverpool debut with the senior squad. Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Conor Masterson is set for his Liverpool debut with the senior squad. Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images Sportsdesk

Jurgen Klopp has indicated that he will have to think very carefully about the right moment to give Conor Masterson his debut, with the Irish teenager set to figure in the match-day squad again for today's Merseyside derby.

There had been suggestions that Masterson could be in line for a debut as Klopp still only has two senior centre-halves available, and Virgil Van Dijk and Dejan Lovren will be extremely important in Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg against Manchester City.

But the manager sounded a cautious note ahead of the lunchtime kick-off at Goodison Park, stressing the importance of timing.

"I've said many times about young players that it's not about getting the opportunity, it's about being ready for the opportunity," said Klopp.

"Conor was last year in the U-18s and is in his first year with the U-23s - (he is) still a very young lad. It's a completely different experience.

"You have the use the next generation, they are there, really talented boys, and I'm always ready for using them but in the right games in the right moment."

Masterson was on the bench for Wednesday's famous win over City in the first leg, but Klopp admitted in the aftermath that he was glad he didn't have to call on the rookie.

"I was happy that we didn't have to use Conor because a first game (in) a Champions League game against Manchester City, that's not the start you wish for!

"Probably the boys want to do it but that's a proper challenge then. So it's all good; that he's around is really good."

Irish Independent

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