6 Jan 2016

Anfield Saviour? Klopp brings in £9m star who's desperate to 'play for Liverpool'

With four of Liverpool's centre-halves currently ruled out with injury, it's dire straits at Liverpool right now, but there may be hope on the horizon. After failing to make an impression at Aston Villa, Liverpool misfit Tiago Ilori has returned to Anfield at just the right time, and if he's fit, then the Portuguese defender must surely be an option for Friday's game with Exeter City. Cometh the hour, cometh the man?

On Wednesday morning, The Guardian reported:

"Liverpool have responded to their mounting injury problems in central defence by asking Aston Villa to cancel Tiago Ilori’s season-long loan".

A few hours later, The Mirror claimed:

"Tiago Ilori’s 12 month loan has been cancelled by Aston Villa [who had a £9m option to buy] and he could go into the squad for Friday’s FA Cup visit to Exeter".

Ilori failed to make a single first-team appearance for Villa, and judging Villa boss Remi Garde's comments, the reason for this is tediously familiar:

"Tiago...has struggled a lot with injuries. He didn't have a full week's training yet. He needs to improve his fitness [and] needs to do a little bit more."

What is it with Liverpool players and injuries?! Garde made these comments less than a month ago, so if Ilori wasn't deemed fit enough to play for relegation-threatened Villa, I doubt he'll be much use to Liverpool, especially with the hellish physical demands that come with playing under Jurgen Klopp.

When Liverpool signed Ilori, I argued he wouldn't make it (due to the unhealthy competition), and like so many others, he is another Rodgers transfer flop.

Ilori - described as 'elegant' by ex-Villa boss Tim Sherwood - desperately wants to make his mark for Liverpool, and prior to his Villa loan, he told reporters:

"I want to play for Liverpool...so I'm going to do everything to make that happen. I chose Liverpool over other teams and [and] this is a dream come true".

Liverpool fans still seem to have a lot of faith in Ilori, though. A couple of months ago, I conducted a poll asking fans whether LFC should sell him, and a whopping 84% of participants voted NO. That's an emphatic vote of confidence in Ilori, but I don't see him staying at Anfield in the long-term.

As for Liverpool's alleged valuation: £9m? Wishful thinking in the extreme, and only a mug would pay that for Ilori.

Can Ilori do a job for Liverpool over the next few weeks, or is he a busted flush?

Author: Jaimie K


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