Conor Masterson spent five years at Liverpool, captained the U18s, shone for the U23s, and even made the bench in a Champions League quarter-final clash against Manchester City. But that all counted for nothing when his contract expired this summer.
The young defender suddenly found himself without a club in June and, while there is no shame in failing to make the grade at a club who can already count upon Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren at centre-back, Masterson would have been hoping that a move to Queens Park Rangers provide the pathway he needs to regular game-time at senior level.
But he is still waiting in the wings at Loftus Road.
Masterson has not played a single second of Championship football under Mark Warburton’s high flyers. He’s only been included in the matchday squad for three of QPR’s 11 league fixtures so far too.
“The gaffer signed me as a development player so I have to respect the more experienced lads who are there,” Masterson told the Irish Examiner ahead of a clash with Italy’s U21s.
“I’ve really enjoyed the few months so far. Players have mortgages to pay and it means so much to them. I like the intensity of the Championship.”
Clearly, Masterson is not worried about his lack of action so far but the 21-year-old is under pressure to make the step up from reserve-team football to the senior squad sooner rather than later.
He is yet to make a single league appearance for either Liverpool or QPR and it remains to be seen when his big break finally arrives.
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