Liverpool Transfer News: Reds Confirm Tiago Ilori's Loan to Granada

Ben Blackmore@@Blackmore_BRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2014

Tiago Ilori, who joined Liverpool during the summer, has been sent out on loan to La Liga club Granada in order to gain first-team experience.

Ilori was one of several defenders to arrive on Merseyside at the start of the campaign, alongside Mamadou Sakho, Aly Cissokho and Kolo Toure.

However, he was never purchased as an immediate first-team option, and Liverpool have confirmed his temporary spell at Granada:

Chris Shaw of the Reds’ official website elaborates on the details of the switch:

The 20-year-old centre-back will spend the remainder of the current campaign with the La Liga side, who are currently 10th in Spain's top flight.

[…]

The Reds' No.26 has yet to make a first-team appearance for the club, but has been named on the substitutes' bench three times and featured for the U21s.

Embarrassment is often associated with a transfer such as this, particularly after Ilori arrived for £7 million on deadline day, per BBC Sport. To loan out such a valuable asset could be seen as an admission of a mistake by Brendan Rodgers.

However, the Liverpool boss will only see this as a positive move. At 20 years of age, Ilori needs match practice to improve, and he won’t get that at such an important time in the club’s season.

Martin Skrtel has been the rock of Liverpool’s defence this term, while Sakho—who joined the club on the same day as Ilori—has looked monstrous during his injury-punctuated spells on the pitch.

Daniel Agger and Toure have also provided competition at the centre of Liverpool’s defence, so Ilori is yet to make his debut for the club.

A classy defender who likes to play from the back, Ilori will likely be a player who excels with age and experience, something he can only get from playing games.

BeIN Sports' Italian correspondent Tancredi Palmeri recently claimed a host of clubs wanted the defender's services:

Liverpool are locked in a fierce fight for Champions League football, knowing the winner of their forthcoming Merseyside derby with Everton will be marginal favourites to finish in the top four.

Rodgers simply cannot risk debuting Ilori at such a time, regardless of how poor Liverpool’s defence has been recently in games against Stoke and Aston Villa, during which they conceded three goals in either game.

He needs the Skrtel and Sakho partnership back as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Ilori can add to his reputation by impressing at Granada ahead of the next season.

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