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Liverpool whizkid Ryan McLaughlin gets call-up to play against Luis Suarez

Liverpool youngster Ryan McLaughlin is in the senior Northern Ireland squad.

Northern Ireland's failure to qualify for another international tournament has not prevented them from embarking on a pre-World Cup tour of South America, and it promises to be a valuable learning curve for their players.

Manager Michael O'Neill has selected a squad comprising several young prospects, most intriguingly 19-year-old right-back Ryan McLaughlin.

The teenager has only ever been used as a back-up for Northern Ireland, and hopes to make his debut in the upcoming friendlies with World Cup bound Uruguay and Chile.

It's the clash with Uruguay which stands out, thanks to McLaughlin having the potential task of shutting down clubmate Luis Suarez.

McLaughlin is contracted to Liverpool, but is yet to make a competitive appearance for the Reds' senior side, although did feature in last week's end of season friendly with Shamrock Rovers.

He spent the latter half of the season on loan at Championship strugglers Barnsley, where he made nine first team appearances.

O'Neill praised the full-back, stating: "Having gone on loan to Barnsley I think he has seen what it could do for him and his development."

The chance of tackling Luis Suarez will be one to spur him on for the upcoming friendly, although Reds manager Brendan Rodgers, a fellow Northern Irishman, may well try and have a word with him prior to the game to ask him not to be too over-exuberant if selected.

The call-up and status of the opponent, among the World Cup favourites, give McLaughlin the perfect chance to make a name for himself, and throw his name into the pre-season reckoning when Liverpool get going again in mid-July.

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