It’s transfer deadline day and not a lot is expected to happen involving Liverpool, but centre-back Tiago Ilori has reportedly turned down a loan move to Sunderland.
The Portuguese defender is yet to make a competitive appearance for Liverpool after signing for the club two years ago in a deal worth an initial £4 million from Sporting.
At the time, Brendan Rodgers pronounced the double signing of Ilori and Mamadou Sakho as safeguarding the future of Liverpool’s defence. Said Rodgers:
“I wanted to try to protect the present and the future of the club.
“Centre-halves are so hard to find. You look at some teams and they have ageing centre-halves because it is a struggle to get a really good one.
“We were fortunate in that two became available, one that we had been tracking for a year in Tiago Ilori, a young talent but who can be a big talent.
“He is 6′ 3”, super quick, power, can jump, and he just needs to adapt to the pace and physicality of the Premier League. He is one for the future, but he can be a really big talent.”
Two years later and Ilori has never appeared in the first-team, the closest he got was being on the bench in his first season for the odd game.
He has had loan spells at Granada and then Bordeaux.
After impressing for Portugual’s under-21s at the European Championships this summer, Ilori appears keen to try to force his way into the reckoning at Anfield. But that pathway was blocked again by giving 34-year-old Kolo Toure a new contract.
Ilori finds himself behind first-choice duo Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren (what a joke) and third-choice Sakho.
Tiago Ilori's move to Sunderland is not going to happen. As it stand, he will stay at @LFC but what chance he gets remains to be seen
— Dominic King (@DominicKing_DM) September 1, 2015
With the Europa League coming up, Ilori will be hoping he finally gets a chance to show what he can do. And supporters will be dreaming of him doing well and Rodgers forming that centre-back pairing of Ilori and Sakho one day.