Tiago Ilori Set to "Go Out and Get Experience"

Chris Brunskill

Speaking ahead of Liverpool's match tomorrow night against Norwich, Brendan Rodgers commented on a range of personnel and transfer issues, including the fact that young central defender Tiago Ilori is likely headed for a loan move.

One of the tried-and-true methods for heaping on the misery in the wake of a particularly bad Liverpool performance is to start talking transfers. Obviously focusing on what worked will only prove to make you feel slightly hopeful, so it's best to avoid any of the successful moves the club has made and place your aim squarely on what didn't work out and how much money's been wasted and oh Fowler it's always going to be like this etc. etc.

Another important bit is to completely remove any longer-term views; player development, like time, is probably not a real thing anyway, so if a transfer--especially one that the club spent money on--hasn't worked out yet, odds are it's not going to. Also, be sure to copy/paste that sterling symbol if you forgot the keyboard shortcut, because you'll be needing that to make your point.

So, Tiago Ilori then. Brought in for serious £££ over the summer from Sporting CP with promise of pace, comfort on the ball, and versatility, the young defender has yet to make an appearance for the first team, featuring primarily for the U21s and making the senior squad only a few times. Also, he did this, but I'm not sure what that means in transfer-speak:

Anyway, we've yet to see him when it counts for Brendan Rodgers, but the manager isn't too concerned about all that, because he foolishly thinks about things that happen in the future:

"Signing Ilori was about looking after the future of the club. Centre-halves are very hard to get. I know as well as anyone, especially working with young players, that they need time in that area. He was one that became available. He wasn't overly-priced. I see the price that is quoted (£7million) and it is nowhere near the mark to be honest.

"He has come in, he will have six months to adapt and then he will go out and get experience. Hopefully in the future, maybe long after I am gone, he can prove to be a talent. That is the responsibility of myself and the club going forward to nurture it. Of course I have to focus very much on the here and now, but I always have to respect the club and have one eye on the future."

Yes, Tiago Ilori cost money. So did everybody else Liverpool bought this summer. Some were bought with a view to instant playing time, while others--Ilori and Luis Alberto chief among them--were bought with that longer-term view in mind. There's certainly merit in preferring that the club purchase talent that's ready to make an impact now, but that doesn't mean that such moves are "bad buys" or busts. It means that, as Rodgers states, there's a future that needs accounting for.

If a loan in the coming window happens, that can only be viewed as a good thing, and it's not even close to resembling some sort of failure by the club or the player. It would be a move to try to ensure just the opposite.

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