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18 Mar 2015

Anfield Exit: Four clubs fighting to sign 'super-quick' €10m Liverpool star. Sell?

Whatever happened to Tiago Ilori? It's a case of 'out of sight, out of mind' when it comes to the Portuguese defender, and after failing to make the breakthrough at Anfield, it looks like he could be on the move this summer.

According to the Daily Express this week:

* Real Sociedad boss David Moyes is 'keeping tabs' on Ilori, who cost Liverpool €10m (£7.5m) in 2013.

* Moyes has watched Ilori in action several times in recent weeks.

* Sunderland, Hull and Wolves are also interesting in signing the Portuguese defender.

Sunderland, Hull, and Wolves? Slim-pickings indeed, and given the choice, I'm sure Ilori - hailed by Rodgers as 'super-quick' and a 'really big talent - will see Sociedad as the most attractive option.

Ilori allegedly has a clause in his contract that stipulates that Bordeaux must player him in at least 30 games this season. So far, the Portuguese has made 12 starts, but he's also been an unused substitute and/or subbed off in 8 games, which suggests that the manager doesn't see him as a regular first-teamer.

How is Ilori doing at Bordeaux? In February, the club's boss, Willy Sagnol, provided the following update:

"It is true that Tiago has made three or four mistakes, which is not necessarily typical, but they do not detract from his good recent performances"

In another interview, Sagnol admitted that Ilori found it 'hard to fit in' after arriving on loan 'late' in the transfer window, and bemoaned his regular fitness niggles:

"He [Ilori] had a lot of glitches so it slowed his progress. He's still a young player who is in a learning phase, and he will progress quickly. "

Liverpool fans seem to have a lot of faith in Ilori, though. A few months ago, I conducted a poll on the site asking fans whether LFC should sell Ilori if/when the opportunity arises.

* A whopping 84% of prticipants voted NO to selling Ilori.

That's an emphatic vote of confidence in the Portuguese youngster, but I don't see Ilori staying at Anfield in the long-term. Yes, he's young, but Liverpool are oversubscribed in central defence, and with the defensive unit performing so brilliantly at the moment, I can't see how Ilori is ever going to get regular game-time.

For the sake of argument, let's say Dejan Lovren leaves in the summer (unlikely). In theory, Ilori could come back into the squad and replace him, but I doubt Rodgers will risk a young player with no Premier League experienced in such a vital role. He'll inevitably sign someone else , which will once again leave the Reds with 4-5 senior central defenders.

Additionally, Emre Can has come into defence and done a great job, and provided Rodgers with yet another viable option at the back. It'll be hard for Ilori to usurp Can at the back, and to be honest, the German has probably killed-off Ilori's chances of ever being given a chance at Anfield.



  1. Don't see any point in shifting him on just yet. We need to find a club where he can go away and play a full season, I would perhaps suggest sending him on loan to a Championship club next year and see how he does then. If he can't get playing time then we cut our losses and move him on. If we sell him now we will lose nearly all our investment anyway so I would give him one more opportunity in England at a club where he is more or less guaranteed playing time.

  2. Difficult one this. He was bought with obvious potential but Rodgers wasn't keen from day one. He talked of him one day making but needing a starter in that position. It was heavily rumoured he wanted Williams. If we could be sure of Ilori not being so injury prone I would be keen but his record is terrible. So for that reason if we could get near money paid perhaps we should take it. As for positions I'm the team I am not sure it is an issue. Is Toure definitely staying? Could Ilori play Can role? He seems to have the right range of passing. If we stay with three at the back we conceivably need six CBs. Can will get more chances in midfield next season I am sure. Will Wisdom come back in contention? Like I say it's a funny one this. Not an easy decision.

  3. Pellegrini did not say Sterling is worth 100 mill.

  4. True but might be wrong article

  5. constant sniping?

  6. What did Orme do wrong?

  7. Pieter Engelbrecht5:11 pm, March 18, 2015

    hell yeah give the lad a chance

  8. Well I'm here a lot and constant seems like an over exaggeration.

  9. He said that Pellegrini didn't say Sterling was worth a hundred million. I am not sure how that is sniping or who it is supposed to be attacking. Seems like a statement of fact.

  10. I watched Tiago Ilori in a youth under whatever tournament on BritishEurosport shortly before we bought him.I thought we were buying a player with good potential.
    He's very quick and that gives him good recovery pace, to make up for him not being the best positionally.Decent in the air.Maybe not as dominant as he should be for a player of his size.Ilori's main strength is his composure on the ball.It's on another level compared to most centre backs.
    My biggest worry wasn't his height it was his weight.Being a tall Peter Crouch-like beanpole (The type of player you could easily snap his limbs and use them as chop sticks).I had doubts Ilori would be able to contain big PL attacking monsters like Romelu Lukaku, Benteke and Wilfried Bony etc...
    I haven't really followed his progress this season at Bordeaux.However from what I've seen, I wouldn't throw him on the scrapheap.Centre backs take longer to mature because the role is more physically demanding than other positions.
    Liverpool should loan him to a PL club next season.If he doesn't cut the mustard, then sell him to a Spanish or Portuguese team the following season.