Liverpool defender joins Granada on loan

£7m youngster Tiago Ilori to spend rest of season in Spain after failing to make Anfield breakthrough so far.

Liverpool youngster Tiago Ilori has joined Granada on loan for the rest of the season, according to the Liverpool Echo.

The Portugal Under 21 star has failed to make an impact so far with competition fierce in the central defensive positions at Anfield.

Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, Kolo Toure and Daniel Agger are all ahead of the 20-year-old in the pecking order so Brendan Rodgers has sent him to Spain to gain valuable first team experience.

Ilori was signed in the summer from Sporting Lisbon for a fee of £7.26m but has yet to make his Liverpool debut.

Granada came 15th in La Liga last season but are currently sitting in 10th after 20 matches this season.

The Andalusia club are eight points clear of the relegation zone and 13 away from the Champions League places so offer a low-pressure atmosphere for Ilori to settle into.

The defender had only made 14 senior appearances for Sporting and clearly needs to be tested regularly at a higher level before Rodgers can consider him for a starting role at Anfield.

Despite representing Portugal, Ilori is eligible to play for England the FA have already enquired as to the possibility of him switching allegiances.

He was born in London to an English father of Nigerian descent but has already made 29 appearances for Portugal at various age groups up to Under 21 level.

Ilori’s fellow young Liverpool centre-back Sebastian Coates remains out injured with a long-term knee problem.

image: © Catherine Kõrtsmik

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