This article is part of Football FanCast’s In The Pipeline series, which takes a look at some of the most promising young talent either linked with clubs or emerging from their academies…
Conor Masterson joined QPR this summer following his release from Liverpool, where he had been highly-rated by the likes of Steven Gerrard and Alex Inglethorpe.
Jurgen Klopp has also championed the defender in the past, and included him in first-team training and in matchday squads on occasion, which says a lot about both his attitude and ability.
Things may not have worked out for him at Liverpool, but he has shown in the past that he is an accomplished defender, and given the current lack of quality in the heart of the R’s defence there could be a place for him.
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The 20-year-old is useful with the ball at his feet, and that is crucial to the style Mark Warburton is implementing at the club, and if he can show the required defensive attributes in training it may not be too long until he gets a call.
After all, his manager has stated that there will be a pathway for young players if they’re good enough and since QPR have conceded 30 league goals already, there could be questions raised of Warburton’s refusal to hand Masterson a chance seeing as others have let him down.
Yoann Barbet is one defender who springs to mind in that regard. He has made several mistakes this season, particuarly in giving away penalties, and therefore Masterson is worth a shot, if only to test his readiness for the first-team.
He has decent experience, too. He has previously been part of a good Liverpool youth team and his performances have been recognised by the Republic of Ireland U21s, which suggests he has been in good form.
QPR have benefitted this season from the performances of their young players, particularly Eberechi Eze, and integrating Masterson into the side would fit that philosophy perfectly, and perhaps put an end to their defensive woes in the process.