Liverpool FC defender Tiago Ilori had a solid evening for the U-21 Portugal team at the European Championship against England.
The 22-year-old played the entire Group B game and helped his country to a win and a clean sheet as Portugal defeated England 1-0 to inflict a nice blow to the Three Lions, who are one of the favorites this year, in their opening game.
The highly rated defender was signed from Sporting Lisbon in 2013 and the deal was reported to be around A?7 million. However, his career at Liverpool is yet to take off as the 22 year-old has not even played a single game for the senior side till date.
After six barren months at Merseyside, Brendan Rodgers sent him out on loan to newly promoted Spanish side Granada. This season, Ilori was sent out on loan again, this time to Ligue 1 side Girondins de Bordeaux. The defender was injured for the first part of the season but featured regularly towards the end, making 12 appearances and scoring a goal in the process.
Brendan Rodgers heaped a lot of praise on Ilori upon landing him in September 2013, calling him a big player for the future. He said, “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.”
Whether he can be a player for the future at Liverpool . remains to be seen but the Reds fans seemingly want him play for their side next season.
What was obvious during the whole season is now even more clear after just two games: Ilori should be back, Can should play in midfield #LFC
a Artur Petrosyan (@arturpetrosyan) June 18, 2015
For those asking: Ilori played a solid match alongside former teammate Paulo Oliviera. They make a very good centre-back duo. a Jan Hagen (@PortuBall) June 18, 2015
Ilori took his own advice while on loan and has bulked out. Looks like a man capable of starting in the Top Flight next year. #LFC
a Mr_CallumWright (@Mr_CallumWright) June 18, 2015
If Joe Gomez comes in and goes straight out on loan (with Coates presumably sold), would that mean Ilori might actually stay? Please? a PhantomGoal (@PhantomGoal) June 18, 2015
Tiago Ilori seems like a very decent player. Really hope that Brendan gives him a fair chance.
a J s (@Nohrinho) June 18, 2015
A good pre-season for the Ilori with Liverpool could see him break his way into the team but whether he is in Brendan Rodgers’s plans, at all, remains to be seen. There is some talk of Sunderland being interested in taking him on loan. The player certainly looks like he could challenge for a first team spot next year.