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Watch: Tiago Ilori vs. England U21s

After another season on loan, there's been plenty of speculation about the future of Tiago Ilori, but the young defender's performance against England at the U21 Euros has given way to hopes that the Portuguese will be given a chance at Liverpool ahead of next season.

Michael Regan/Getty Images

There are few certainties in Liverpool's defense ahead of next season, even with the news that Martin Skrtel is expected to sign a new contract. Mamadou Sakho is, at least in terms of talent, the best defender in the squad, but Skrtel has been the most consistent--or at least most consistently available--defender in each of the past two seasons. With Dejan Lovren making his entrance full of sound and fury but signifying nothing other than copious amounts of space conceded for opposition attackers, there aren't many answers apparent for Brendan Rodgers ahead of next season.

Tiago Ilori is probably not the solution, especially after two seasons on loan interrupted by injury, but the young Portuguese has worked his way into the collective conscience with an excellent performance against the England U21s at this summer's European Championships. Featuring for his country in the first match of group play against Gareth Southgate's England squad, Ilori comfortably pocketed Harry Kane en route to an important 1-0 win.

Loans for Ilori have given way to speculation about whether or not he actually has a future at Liverpool, and while nothing is certain, his performances while fit--including the comfortable 1-0 win over England on Thursday--have rightly given way to discussion about his place moving forward. Rodgers lauded Ilori's talent upon signing the defender from Sporting CP, noting that he was one for the future and a player capable of seeing out the manager's hopes for stylish, effective football.

The future might not be here yet, but those looking for Tiago Ilori to come good in a Liverpool shirt might not have to wait too long. Hopefully there's a clean bill of health and spot up for grabs for the player heading into next season.

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