Championship side Reading are looking to get promoted to the Premier League this season, and have signed young Liverpool defender Tiago Ilori to bolster the squad.
Reading have confirmed the signing of Liverpool center-back Tiago Ilori. The 23-year-old has signed a three and a half year contract which will keep him at the club till 2020. The Portuguese defender had arrived at Anfield from Sporting Lisbon in 2013 for £7 million.
Chief executive of Reading Nigel Howe stated that he was delighted with the signing, and hoped his manager Jaap Stam would get the best out of a player with good top flight experience.
“A player with La Liga, Ligue 1 and Primeira Liga experience who comes to us from a club of Liverpool’s pedigree, I am confident he will be a very good addition to the squad and become an even better player under the guidance of Jaap Stam,” said Howe.
Former Manchester United defender Stam has been working wonders at Reading this season. The Dutchman will be hoping Ilori can come in and contribute to their battle to gain promotion, as they trail Leeds United, Brighton and Newcastle United in fourth place in the EFL Championship.
“ Tiago is the type of defender a lot of people like – his technical skill, passing ability, pace, quality and physique. We always want players with those attributes within our squad,” said Stam of the new signing.
“In this league, with all the games we need to play, you never know what’s going to happen with injuries and suspensions – so it’s also important we have options and the chance to rotate.”
Ilori joined Liverpool in 2013 amidst great expectations. The Portuguese was a very highly rated young talent at the time, but his Reds career hasn’t exactly gone according to plan. He has spent most of his Reds career on loan, with spells at Bordeaux, Granada and Aston Villa.
The 23-year-old has only managed to make three appearances for Liverpool, all of them coming in the FA Cup this season. His performances weren’t enough for Jurgen Klopp to insist on keeping him though, as the Reds take a big loss in order to move him on.
Reading are reportedly paying a transfer fee of just £3.75 million, which is slightly more than half of what they paid for him. The fact that he has been sold for so less even at the age of 23 is an indicator of how low the Reds hierarchy rates him.
The Portuguese defender will look to prove them wrong, and the right kind of performances for Reading this season could see him come face to face with his former club in the Premier League in 2017-18.