20 Sept 2013

'Others were interested, but...' - €8m star explains why he chose LFC. Bumpy road ahead...?

New Liverpool signing Tiago Ilori took his first steps towards the Reds' first team this week with an assured display during Wednesday's 5-2 U21s victory over the Sunderland, and after the game, the speedy defender outlined the reasons why he joined LFC.

Speaking to LFC TV, Ilori revealed that he is 'enjoying' life at Liverpool, and reiterated that playing in the Premier League has 'always been a dream' of his.

When asked why he decided to join Liverpool, Ilori explained:

"I was aware of a couple of other clubs that were interested but the way Liverpool dealt with it and spoke with me made it an easier choice.

"The club's history played a part but it was more about their approach and the way they dealt with me. I felt that this was the place to be. It's never easy leaving the country you grew up in but it wasn't that difficult because I knew what I wanted to do"

With Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho in the squad, London-born Ilori has an uphill battle on his hands to establish himself in the first team, and I'd be surprised if he features regularly this season.

Ilori's best chance of regular action will probably come in the domestic cup competitions, or covering injuries if/when they occur, and at 20 years of age, he can't really argue with that. Earlier this week, the manager reiterated his excitement over signing the youngster. He told ESPN:

"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"

Brendan Rodgers clearly has high hopes for Ilori, but you only have to look at the Sebastian Coates situation to see that nothing is guaranteed.

* Like Ilori, the Uruguayan cost Liverpool £7m (€8m), and arrived at Anfield with great expectations.

* With strong competition in front of him (Agger, Carra, and Skrtel), he struggled to break into the first team on a consistent basis.

* This mainly restricted Coates to irregular games in cup competitions, with the occasional Premier League appearance.

* With only 24 appearances in two years, Coates is on his way out after failing to consistently impress.

As Coates discovered, all it takes is one or two shaky performances for perceptions to change, and the fact that LFC brought in three new central defenders over the summer shows that Rodgers no longer has faith in the Uruguayan.

Clearly, Ilori will have to hit the ground running when he gets his chance in the first team, or he could end up going the same way as Coates. Thankfully, Ilori has specific attributes that arguably give him a greater chance of succeeding at LFC, specifically lightning pace, something Coates lacked.

The cold, harsh reality, however, is this: if Mamadou Sakho is fit and playing reasonably well, he will probably be selected ahead of Ilori on most occasions, and the same applies to Daniel Agger, Kolo Toure, and - at the moment - Martin Skrtel.

NOTE: Please stick to the Comment Policy (Click to read)


  1. God forbid we have back up.

    Tell me Jamie, why are you so relentlessly negative about Liverpool. Don't just delete this comment, give us an honest answer about how you think your website is constructive for either fans or the club.

  2. For those of you who still don't get it: the tagline of this site is 'critical realism about LFC', that means you should expect an inquiring approach to LFC matters. If you can't handle that - like the two posters whose comments just got deleted - then go elsewhere.

  3. "*All views are welcome, no matter how unpopular. However, ceaseless, antagonistic negativity without some form of explanation, reasoning, example, clarification, or discernible point, is not welcome."
    Your site in your words...

  4. Critical realism is fine but some of your articles border on sensationalism Jamie. And for the record I think Llori will be 4th choice in January as I don't see Skrtel being part of Rodgers plans long term at all. Will he make it beyond that? Well from what I've read, very few of us will have seen him live, he has the attributes to do so. But when you throw Wisdom, Kelly and even Lloyd Jones into the mix it won't be easy

  5. I think we should try IIlori as a full back if he is not going to get a chance. I think he will but doubt he will dislodge Agger or Sakho.
    As for Coates, he will probablu leave next season. I hope so anyway because he is a good player and I don't think he has been giving a fair chance like Hendo was given. For his sake he needs to leave.

  6. why do you delete people who happen to disagree with you though? you seem shocked that people don't like your approach and think you're a bad fan, but the fact is your relentless negativity isn't constructive. you pick sensationalist headlines like "potential flop" to describe players who've had one game. that's not "realism" it's fatalistic, pessimistic, morose.

    there's a middle ground and as long as you can't cope with people being critical of you/your pieces in the comments then you might want to consider treading a line which is truer to "critical realism" and not simply pointless sniping at every player, every pundit, every ex player and every other person involved with LFC.

    plenty of people probably admire your effort but true fans won't accept this sort of pointless undermining of the club. a lot of it entirely baseless.

    have some guts and don't delete this comment.

  7. He is only 20 so doubt he was signed as an immediate starter. Ilori and even Alberto are signings for the future and will be given time to settle in England. Our future looks bright!

  8. He is far to slow for the EPL. Coates and Skrtel are out of here.

  9. There's been lot of rumours about Skrtel leaving yet he's been our best defender so far, did he have a falling out with BR or something?

  10. Every report I've read/heard about Ilori mentions his impressive speed.

    Are those exaggerated?

  11. Look at this way:

    Agger and Skrtel are both 28. Toure is 32.

    Odds are at least 2 of the 3 will be gone within 3 years, meaning that Sakho will be 26 and Ilori will be 23.

    Sakho was definitely brought in for the here and now.

    Ilori seems to have been brought in for 2-3 years from now.

  12. Toure has been the better defender for me. Had Benteke in his back pocket whereas a player like Skrtel would have been eaten alive by the Belgian striker.

    Skrtel might be a good player however, he is a reactive defender. Rodgers is after players with technical functionality, positional intelligence which Skrtel is not Skrtel's greatest attributes.

  13. Not sure, obviously we will need to see once he gets into the team.

    I have read that he broke Nani and Ronaldo's speed records at Sporting CP so reports about his impressive speed may well be true.

  14. I was referring to Coates being slow BTW.

  15. Agree a loan would have given him games to find his confidence. Coates is playing scared. This can ruin a player. A decent run with a needy team would establish his confidence. Confidence is everything. Sadly I feel that chance at a loan has passed for him.

  16. It sounds like LFC were completely honest with Llori and told him that it would take some time to get into the first team, and it seems to me he was brought in as 4th choice should Skrtl leave in January or if there were any injuries at that point.
    I just hope that Liverpool don't make the same mistake that they did with Coates and not loan him out at some point if we're overstaffed in the CB position. IMO that's what hinders Coates' development more than anything.

  17. Back to hypia is oso a slow type CB but can success at BPL...
    It just the tactic is not suit them (coates n etc) i would say. Not regard about the pace....

  18. Tat y we signed so many CB coz most of them very fragile...Honestly only the "man of steel" for me is Sktel...(i was referring to injury matter)