Long-lost defender Tiago Ilori returned to training with the Liverpool first-team today. The 22-year-old confirmed the news himself on his official Twitter account, posting this message on Friday afternoon…
— Tiago Ilori (@TiagoIlori4) August 7, 2015
Ilori joined Liverpool from Sporting Lisbon in 2013, but has barely been seen since making the move from his homeland. He’s yet to feature for the first-team in any competition and was only sparingly used during back-to-back loan spells with Granada and Bordeaux.
However, his performances at the European Under-21 Championships – where Portugal finished second – were a reminder of his immense qualities and potential, ahead of what could be a crucial season for him.
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With Martin Skrtel, Dejan Lovren, Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure all ahead of him in the pecking order, the youngster faces a battle to get anywhere near our team, even in the second-string competitions.
Making an impression in training will be vital, especially considering the fine start that Joe Gomez – four years his junior – has made since joining the club this summer. If an 18-year-old is making such impressive strides, Rodgers and co will start to wonder why Ilori has failed to make the same impression.
Most Liverpool fans would likely welcome him getting a chance, but unfortunately, even that might be beyond him at this stage.