Lee O'Connor on the ball for Stephen Kenny's Ireland U21s last month. Laszlo Geczo/INPHO
bright spark

18-year-old Ireland star O'Connor added to Man United's Champions League squad

The Waterford-born defender could make Solskjaer’s matchday squad for the return leg with Barcelona.

WATERFORD YOUNGSTER LEE O’Connor has been added to Manchester United’s Champions League squad.

The 18-year-old defender was added to the set-up ahead of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side faced Barcelona at Old Trafford last night. 

United were defeated 1-0, Luke Shaw’s 12th-minute goal ultimately settling the first-leg of their quarter-final clash.

But with Shaw suspended for the return fixture, O’Connor may be needed in the matchday squad for the Camp Nou clash.

The Ireland underage star is yet to be selected in a first-team matchday squad, but is now listed on the Red Devils’ Champions League squad on the Uefa website with the squad number 59 by his name.

O’Connor could play no part in last night’s fixture how and ever, suspended after picking up a red card late in United’s Uefa Youth League defeat to Midtjylland last month.

Last year, he got a taste of the Ireland senior international set-up, earning a first call-up under former manager Martin O’Neill for games against Northern Ireland and Denmark.

Manchester United v Valencia - UEFA Youth League - Group H - Leigh Sports Village O'Connor is a bright prospect. EMPICS Sport EMPICS Sport

Although he didn’t feature in either clash, O’Neill described him as “a very impressive young man” who could have “a decent future” in the game.

Captain last year for the Ireland U19s who have now qualified for this summer’s European Championships, O’Connor missed the recent Elite Round stage as he was promoted to Stephen Kenny’s underage squad.

He joined the Manchester outfit from Watford in 2016, and previously played for Villa FC in Waterford.

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