"It's something that we'll look to do with young Tiago," was Brendan Rodgers' reply when asked about the possibility of sending centre half Tiago Ilori out on loan for the remainder of the season, with Granada and Valencia rumoured to be frontrunners for the player's services. "He has come in and he now knows what Liverpool is about and the standards.
"It has been difficult for him in terms of game time because he hasn't played, but he has come in and shown the profile of player we thought he would be. It's the case that we'll probably look to get him a loan period now, where he can get some games. As a defender, he needs to be playing. He'd certainly be someone that we'd look to get on loan."
Ilori's inability to get a game—he has in fact only made the bench once for the senior side, an unused substitute against Oldham in the FA Cup earlier in the month—has led to questions about whether the young Portuguese defender is even in the Rodgers' long-term plans or if perhaps he was forced on the manager by Liverpool's transfer committee.
With a reported £7M price-tag and no appearances to show for his first five months in English football, such questions are perhaps inevitable. However, when Ilori first arrived at Anfield it certainly sounded as if Rodgers thought highly of the young defender, with the manager eagerly praising his new signing as a talent for the future.
"Centre-halves are hard to find," was Rodgers' take in September following Ilori's capture alongside Mamdou Sakho. "You look at some teams and they have ageing centre-halves because it is a struggle to get a really good one. We were fortunate in that two became available, one that we had been tracking for a year in Tiago Ilori, a young talent but who can be a big talent."
Baring a major surprise, that potential big talent will spend the next four months back on the Iberian Peninsula. Hopefully getting a few more senior games under his belt than he has so far following his move to Liverpool.