When Liverpool agreed to loan Portuguese defender to French side Girondins de Bordeaux, Brendan Rodgers would have hoped he would have made more than four appearances after 20 weeks of the Ligue 1 season.
News from the Bordeaux camp today revealed that the 20-year-old centre-back would miss Sunday night’s game against Monaco, meaning the Liverpool man still has not played since the 1-0 defeat to Stade de Reims at the start of October.
Due to the African Cup of Nations, Bordeaux are without Henri Saivet, Lamine Sané, Andre Biyong Poko, Abdou Traore and Wahbi Khazri, plus the long-term injury to Cheick Diabate leaves them short all over the pitch.
With captain Sané away on international duty, Ilori would have had a great chance to create a partnership with Nicolas Pallois at the heart of the defence. Ilori’s growing injury problems continue with the pain he felt in his thigh during the Coupe de France victory over Toulouse at the start of the month
It is unfortunate timing for both the player and the club and it leaves Bordeaux with three fit centre-backs, one of them being young Cedric Yambéré.
Bordeaux are currently sixth in Ligue 1, but Sunday’s game will be as tough as they come, taking on fifth place Monaco, one of the in-form sides in France at the moment.
The Monegasque side, coached by Portuguese manager Leandro Jardim have won four games in a row, keeping a clean sheet in all four. That is not the best omen for a side struggling to score and playing without their top scorer.
Bordeaux start the game just one point behind Monaco, but the away side have gone three games without a win on their travels, with the home side five unbeaten at the Stade Louis II.
It may have been too big a test for Ilori to return against a side like Monaco, but Liverpool and Sagnol will hope to get him back fit for the second half of the season. He may have only played four times in the league, but he had impressed during the 296 minutes he has been on the pitch.
It is far too early to tell whether he can have a long-term future at Liverpool, Ilori’s first goal should be getting fit and forcing his way into the Bordeaux defence before returning to England.