In the end, Liverpool's deadline day was a quiet one. In fact, until a late rush to get a deal done to send Tiago Ilori to Aston Villa, it looked as though it would be a day in which the club did nothing bar trying—and failing—to find Jose Enrique a new club.
As the window ticked down, though, news broke that Aston Villa were pushing hard to complete a deal for Ilori that would see the centre half move to them this season for a £1M loan fee. The deal also includes an option to make it permanent next summer for between £6-9M and with Liverpool being owed 25% of any future fee should Villa then sell him on.
With the clubs filing the necessary paperwork with the league, Villa were given two hours past the end of the window to finalise the signing. They have now done so, and with that, Ilori becomes an Aston Villa player for at least the coming season and quite possibly—and quite controversially—for longer than that.
Having failed to fight his way into the first team picture at Liverpool during pre-season, it always seemed likely the 22-year-old defender would be on his way before the window closed. However, that he could be gone for good, not just the season, comes as at least a bit of a surprise, even if the player never seemed at the forefront of Brendan Rodgers' plans.
Liverpool paid £7M to bring Ilori to England from Sporting Club two summers ago, one of the 24 players bought by the club during Rodgers' first two seasons in charge. Now, with his departure, 13 of those players bought from 2012 to 2014 will be playing this season at a club other than Liverpool, either on loan or following permanent deals.
Ilori now joins an Aston Villa side with five senior players already on the books cable of playing at centre half. Even if Micah Richards moves to right back, there are more players than Tim Sherwood can possibly give time to. Hopefully, for Ilori's sake, he can find playing time in spite of that.
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