Ilori: "I Would Like to Stay Loyal to Portugal"

Christopher Furlong

With internationals coverage dominating the day, Tiago Ilori's answers to questions about his future gives Liverpool fans a closer look at one of the club's newest signings.

With England's match against Ukraine kicking off in a few hours and Daniel Sturridge finding himself embroiled in the club versus country debate, internationals are front and centre for at least the rest of the day. And with the internationals as the entry point, Tiago Ilori gave Liverpool fans a little more insight into the player the club bought for £7M towards the end of the summer's transfer window.

"I think I would like to stay loyal to Portugal as I’ve played in every age group for them," said the 20-year-old centre back when asked about the chance he could switch to England at the senior level as he holds dual citizenship. "But I would never close any doors and there is no decision to make yet.  If I have the choice then it is not a bad choice to have."

Queue an avalanche of stories suggesting Ilori, who has played a mere dozen times at the senior level in Portugal and isn't yet on the radar for the Portuguese national team, is ready to jump ship in favour of the Three Lions. What's more interesting, perhaps—at least to Liverpool fans—is insight into the fact Ilori isn't quite the all-Portuguese centre half many would have assumed on his signing.

"I lived in a few places around Kentish Town [in the north west of London and] I was eight when we moved to Portugal," said Ilori, who was born in England to an English father of Nigerian descent and a Portuguese mother. "My English family are originally from Manchester and they all moved to London. My Dad was born in London as well."

Having been promised playing time by Brendan Rodgers despite his inexperience at the senior level with Sporting CP, Ilori's ability to play on the right should help him to find minutes over the coming weeks with Glen Johnson facing an extended layoff and the status of Martin Kelly a continuing doubt.

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