Rumours in the British press suggest we are on the verge of recalling Tiago Ilori from his season-long loan spell at Aston Villa.
After Klopp was forced to watch Dejan Lovren limp out of Tuesday night’s League Cup victory over Stoke City, it quickly became apparent that we badly needed defensive reinforcements.
There is still no confirmed news on how long Lovren will be on the sidelines, but he now joins Mamadou Sakho, Martin Skrtel, and Joe Gomez in the treatment room. It means we only have one fit centre back – the 34-year-old Kolo Toure.
In the immediate aftermath of Tuesday’s win, Klopp suggested he might be forced to look at bringing in a centre back during the transfer window, saying: “In this situation with no centre-backs fit I would say [a transfer] is something we could look at. Two weeks ago we had three centre-backs, that’s a good situation, at the start of the season we had five, now we have none” (via SkySports).
According to the Guardian, however, he might have found his solution much closer to home. The Merseyside-based reporter Andy Hunter writes that we “have responded to [our] mounting injury problems in central defence by asking Aston Villa to cancel Tiago Ilori’s season-long loan at Villa Park”.
Ilori was bought for £7 million by Rodgers in the summer of 2013, but has not yet played a competitive game for us.
He was loaned to Villa on the final day of last summer’s transfer window in the hope he would get some Premier League experience, but since arriving in the Midlands he has failed to play a match, and has only made their matchday squad once. Villa do have an option to buy Ilori in the summer for £6 million, but given his lack of games it seems unlikely that they would have activated the clause.
Hunter claims that Ilori would only be a stop-gap until the summer, a window in which there are normally more players available.
The potential return of Ilori certainly makes sense – he wouldn’t cost us anything, he’d presumably be keen to prove himself, and he wouldn’t be cup-tied in Europe. On the other hand, how good can he really be if he can’t break into a Villa side that are last in the table with the second-worst defence in the league?
What do you think about the 22-year-old’s possible recall? Let us know in the comments.