8 Mar 2014

Anfield Future: Should BR sell £7m star? LFC fans give their emphatic 84% verdict...

In February, Granada's Sporting Director, Juan Carlos Cordero, made it clear that the La Liga club is interested in signing Liverpool loanee Tiago Ilori on a permanent basis this summer. What do Reds fans think about that possibility? If a bid comes in (that matches or exceeds the £7m paid last summer), should LFC sell, or does the Portuguese defender have a long-term future at Anfield?

Speaking to reporters recently, Cordero hailed Ilori as a 'calm' defender with 'pace', who 'moves the ball well', adding:

"He has come in and fitted into the team very quickly. When the end of the summer comes we'll see if he is wanted by the Liverpool first team or if they want to sell"

Last week, I conducted a poll on the site, asking whether LFC should sell Ilori if the opportunity arises.

* 12300 visitors (approx) participated in the poll.
* A whopping 84% voted NO to selling Ilori.

That's an emphatic vote of confidence in the Portuguese youngster, who hasn't yet made a single appearance for Liverpool.

As I've argued in the past, I don't see Ilori staying at Anfield in the long-term. Yes, he's young, but after LFC's defensive woes this season, Rodgers will inevitably sign another central defender this summer, and with Mamadou Sakho and Martin Skrtel already in the squad - as well as Daniel Agger - I can't see how Ilori is going to get regular game-time next season.

For the sake of argument, let's say Daniel Agger leaves in the summer. 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 sign someone else (Steven Caulker is heavily linked at the moment), which will once again leave the Reds with 4-5 senior central defenders.

From Ilori's point of view, like most players, he just wants to play, and if he gets the chance to become a regular in La Liga, I believe he'll take it. I'd love to be proven wrong on this issue, though, as it means LFC won't have to spend big bucks on another central defender.

I just can't see Ilori usurping Skrtel (consistently good this season); Sakho (who has a €19m fee to justify), Agger (if he stays), and another new central defender (possibly to replace Kolo Toure).

In my view, if Sakho, Skrtel and Agger are still going to be at the club next season, Rodgers should just bring back Ilori, give him a proper pre-season, and then play him from the off in the new season. If he hits the ground running, keep him in the team. If he fails, buy another defender in January 2015.

I doubt that will happen, though. Rodgers will trust young, inexperienced defenders at full-back, but not in central defence, as the experiences of Martin Kelly and Andre Wisdom already attest.



  1. rodgers has never said he wants to sell him, its only shhiiit stirring prickks like you spreading the rumours

  2. Guess what???

    Liverpool are in for VIKTOR FISCHER!!! I can assure you guys that this kid is going to be far more better and greater than what Christian Eriksen is, lets hope we get him in the summer.


  3. Yeah, I know that part. Lets hope its true because he is one hell of a player when you look at his game and the way he runs at players.

  4. So despite their being no dirct link with Sakho and mistakes being made, such as a pass that put them under pressure that lead to the mistake etc, you still believe that his presence causes his teammates to make mistakes based on nothing but intuition?
    I disagree about him looking uncomfortable in possession. He may be dangly but he looks the calmer on the ball than Skrtel and Agger at times this season. He makes more passes on average than the rest which shows he is picking up the ball a lot and that those around him trust him enough to get passes to. This uncertainty is not evident to me or most people I speak to and it certainly is not obtainable in the stats.

    The number of losses is directly related to the teams played. He has had to play more of the better teams than Agger or Toure. He has had to play Chelsea, City, Arsenal, Spurs and United away. Agger in 3 more league games has only had to play United (Home), Everton, Chelsea and Arsenal away. Toure in 19 games has only had to play United Arsenal (twice) and Chelsea all away apart from the last Arsenal game.

    Surely you see how playing the best teams more in a smaller sample of games affects the stats? We all know how to get percentages so it's obviously going to affect it.

    While I agree that that the form of the team in those games against the top teams has been bad and that reflects badly on Sakho his stats against the top ten are better than Agger's.

    Sakho played 8 lost 5 which is 62.5%. Agger's record against the top ten is played 6 lost 4 which is a loss rate of 66%. Toure has played 7 lost 4 which is 57%. Perhaps we should play Toure instead?

    In fact Toure has the same loss rate as Agger so why not play Toure?

  5. Honestly mate it's not selected, it's just all the categories that that make up a player especially a defender. For instance surprisingly according to squawker Agger wins more headers than Sakho. But on everything else Sakho is better. That is according to whoscored, squawker and Opta. All organisations that do not have our affiliations and biases. Dismissing them is just ignorance.

    The five games you mention that we lost are games that we could and maybe would have lost anyway. His contribution in those games didn't weaken the side one bit. We just played decent, good or excellent teams largely away from home. The you could easily explain why we have lost that many games with context. Stats without context are largely murky.

    It seems that the impasse comes from us who see individual stats as the important barometer to judge a player and you see it as outcome or team performance. I suppose rationally it has to be a mixture of both. I have often argued that the full season under Kenny when Skrtel was payer of the year can be seen as not being the defensive success that people talk about. How can it be when we lost more games and had less clean sheets than the next season under Rodgers when we conceded only four more goals? I suppose this argument is similar. Not many people talk about Rodgers first full season as a defensive success yet in lots of key areas we were better than the year previous. It shows how difficult stats alone can be when judging players. Certain things can be quantified and others can't. Also what is quantified can be interpreted differently.

  6. We could do what Chelsea have done with the Athletico keeper and just keep him out on loan while we don't need him and have him gain some very necessary and difficult experience. Maybe for one or two years so he would be 22-23 when coming back and at that stage Toure will be well gone and Agger and Skrtel will be 30-31. Truth is with Agger being one of the highest earners I can see FSG wanting to sell him this summer while we could still get a good price. They are well in to this value thing and player who very rarely gets anywhere near a full season without injury may not seem like the best value at this time. On form Agger is great but, he has had a mixture of injury and bad form this season which could mean a sale. I don't think Rodgers would want to sell but I am not convinced the power rests with him in the transfer committee. I think players like Ilori, Alberto and Aspas demonstrate that. I am sure he would play one of his own picks more.

  7. why sell him, when we have only just got him? Crazy, he's been signed for the future, Playing regular first team on loan can only be good for experience.

  8. Very good on football manager :)

  9. Agreed, Loan Ilori out another year, if he is not going to be in the first team next year rather than sell him. He, Sakho and maybe Caulker will be our main CBs in the next 2 yrs.

  10. Agreed plus next season and possibly the following hundreds more we'll be in Champions League. Our squads are paper thin compares to the teams already in the competition. Rogers will be using games such as FA cup & Carling Cup ( or whatever it's called now) to give Tiago the experiences needed in English football. Tiago has the attributes described by Codero that Rogers like to see in English kids.

  11. Andre Wisdom can also play CB. I think he will be a regular in the squad next season too

  12. You should point out the quality of opposition. Sahko has played far more top tier teams, could be part of the reason. I would say more but last time I did I was ban for over a week, despite being called stupid and nothing happening for that.

  13. I'm looking forward to all our loanees coming back in the summer. They all seemed to have performed pretty well this season. I do expect Assaidi to be sold though. Borini, Wisdom, Ilori, Suso (maybe Coady and Robinson as well) will make us stronger plus then add a few quality signings and we will be looking great.

    I can't see Dagger being with us next season though. Between injuries and poor form I think BR has had enough. Pepe, Dagger, Coates, Kelly and Assaidi will all be sold. I also feel BR will listen to offers for Enrique. Moses and Cissokho won't be signed permanently.

    It will be another busy summer of overhauling an overearning squad. I expect a RB, LB, CB, CM and RW/LW/AM(1 player who can ply in all 3) be signed.

    Now for the dreaming part. To help us with the FFP this is what I would expect in the summer.
    GK - Valdes - Really can see this happening. Mignolet has done well, but not good with the ball at his feet. Big problem with the style we play -FREE!!
    RB - Montoya - Young, and given very little opportunities at Barca. Looks good though. Think this will go through in the summer - £4M!!
    LB - Cole - I know he isn't everybodys cup of tea, but no one can argue about his quality. Would be a good stop gap for 1-2 years until we're financially in a better place - FREE!!
    CB - Vertonghen - an awesome CB who has turned into an awesome LB at Spurs(apart from todays howler). Would be an exciting edition and would keep both LB/CB on their toes. 1st name on the teamsheet when he gets going, he is that good - £14M!!
    CM - Rakitic - an all rounder IMO. Great going forward and good in the tackle with a good eye for a pass. Won't be easy to get, but I feel we are his best possibility for 1st team football among all the teams looking for him - £10M!!
    LW/RW/AM - Lallana - Young, English and great on the ball. Can create and score. Should be our main target this summer(before the world cup, as he will be more in demand after) - £16M!!

    £44M out and approx £40M in. I feel we will sign at least 2 of these players this summer(hopefully more). What a squad we would have after this at very little cost.


  14. Spot in mate! I like your thinking!

  15. He's young, I still think he's our answer at DM.

  16. Agger and Skrtel were young once with no PL experience. Anyway, if he's good enough, he'll play. If he's not, he'll leave. I just can't see FSG and BR write off a 7 million investment so fast whilst the player still shows a chance of making it. Which by the noise coming out of Spain he appears to do.

  17. Valdes & Cole, that's about 300k in wages per week........Not advisable.

  18. I would take Richards any day over caulker

  19. Ilori is for the future. BR has said this already. i believe he even said it in the same interview that he mention he would go out on loan in january.
    1 season then sell? why? FUTURE!

  20. How does any young player ever make his way into a team? It's been the same since football existed: you train hard, get better and prove yourself. Ilori doesn't need to be an exception to that. Some fans are just hung up on his transfer fee and can't get past it, but Ilori is just another young player looking to come through the ranks, just like every footballer ever in the history of the game has been at one time in their career. I don't understand why anyone expects it to be different.

  21. _
    Ilori is a class act.

    Been stating this case from before we signed him!

    He is confident on the ball (Rodgers type of player), great distribution from the back, attacking centre back thats good in the tackle when needed, exceptional positional awareness.

    LFC would lose out by selling a player of this calibre!
    I see him as a mainstay for years to come in this team. Or any team - He will be one of the best centre backs in the game.

    Agger is hit and miss all season. He has games where he is bullied off the ball and he loses his man when marking often.

    Playing in more than one competition next season would require more centre backs, so this is a luxury we can welcome.

    Ilori is pure class, and it would be to LFC's detriment to sell!

  22. No chance on any of those players mate. Sorry but it's dreaming. I think you may be right on the outgoing players though and I can see us signing about 3-4 in the summer.

  23. I have made that shout a few times but it seems like not many agree.

  24. Even better in real life!!! I don't know if anyone here has watched him play but he's sheer class and nothing less than that.

    Lets hope we can get him ASAP!!!

  25. Tiago is a very talented young footballer. He is also very intelligent
    and polite young man, Refreshing to say the least. He also has real
    pace! Wherever he goes, if given a chance he will make it and that is
    for sure. History will prove me right!
    It may as well be in Liverpool.

  26. Spot on this young lad is just pure class and doing brill out on loan. No way will brendan rodgers sell this kid in the summer.

  27. do not sell him..either give him a good chance in the first team or loan him. would be better to loan him to a premiership club that will play him , then we get to see how well he fares.