Putting an end to one of the worst kept secrets in recent memory, Liverpool have today confirmed the loan of 20-year-old centre half Tiago Ilori to Granada for the remainder of the season. With speculation building all month that Ilori was on his way to Spain, manager Brendan Rodgers had confirmed a deal was in the works last Thursday at his pre-Aston Villa press conference. Then over the weekend Ilori himself let slip that, as rumoured, Granada would be the destination.
There's little to say that hasn't already been covered when it comes to Ilori, if only because there's so little to say about a player who has made the bench a grand total of three times for the senior side since arriving last summer. Even with Liverpool suffering something of an injury crisis over the past six weeks and the player reported to be nearly as comfortable as fullback as in the middle, Ilori was rather tellingly never in contention.
Though Rodgers has been quick to dismiss suggestions he paid £7M for the Sporting Lisbon product, that is the fee Ilori is believed to be worth should he hit certain escalators. Stuck in the reserves as he has been, Liverpool will so far have only paid his base fee, believed to have been in the £3-5M range. Either way, along with transfer fees for Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto and loan fees for Victor Moses and Aly Cissokho it's part of a quite significant sum spent on players who have so far failed to make a mark.
It is believed that despite Ilori's inability to push his way into contention since arriving at the club, the defender is still in Rodgers' plans for the future. That future, though, might yet be a few years off, and fans expecting a timely impact from Ilori may find themselves waiting for more than just the duration of his Granada loan.