With it shaping up to be a busy summer for Queens Park Rangers as new manager Mark Warburton continues to tweak his first-team squad, this week has also seen the arrival of former Liverpool Academy graduate Conor Masterson.
The young 20-year-old centre-back heads into Loftus Road as a free agent, on a two-year deal having seen his contract at Anfield expire this summer.
He was with Liverpool for four years, joining them as a 16-year-old in their youth ranks before progressing through their levels, but the Dublin born Irishman didn’t obviously make his debut in their first team squad and he also didn’t gain any senior experience during any loan spells in his time with them.
We clearly see something in him though and I expect he’ll initially join our Under 23 group, but if he impresses and settles in quickly, who knows if the gaffer might give him an introduction as the month’s progress this year?
Speaking to the Official Site as his signing was announced, he explained.
“To sign for QPR is an honour and a privilege and I can’t wait to get started. I learnt so much during my time with Liverpool, had some unbelievable experiences and I think that will carry through into QPR.”
Masterson clearly has something about him though as he skippered Liverpool at Under 18 level and progressed through to their Under 23 side pretty quickly. Having mentioned the fact he didn’t make his debut, Jurgen Klopp did bring him into the first team squad for training though and he also found himself named on the bench for their Champions League clash against Manchester City, and he was on the Premier League bench for their clash with Everton in April 2018.
He was also set to continue his progression last summer on their tour of the US but a knee injury saw him sidelined, so he missed out on that opportunity.
I would imagine he’s looking forward to making up for lost time.
“Mentally it was very tough but you learn from it and it makes you stronger. You have your ups and downs in football. That was my down and hopefully, this move is one of my ups. I can guarantee the fans I will give everything in every game.”
Warburton sounds optimistic about his potential.
“I have watched Conor’s progress and he is another young player with a lot of potential in him. What he will be looking to do is come in, bed himself into the dressing room and challenge for a place in the team. I want the pathway for young players here to be clear. If they are good enough, I’ll play them – I don’t care if they are 17 or 37, it’s about being good enough and having that desire to play for QPR.”
Good luck to the lad.