Could Tim Sherwood give Tiago Ilori a chance in midfield this season?

Villa Park 6

Aston Villa have signed the Liverpool youngster on a season-long loan with the option of a future permanent deal.

Aston Villa have signed plenty of players this summer, and they finished things off with a deadline day triple swoop for Anderlecht goalkeeper Matija Sarkic, West Bromwich Albion’s Joleon Lescott and Thiago Ilori initially on loan from Liverpool.

As reported by the BBC, the latter’s move comes with the option of Villa making things permanent next summer for between £6million and £9million depending on clauses, and that would be a wonderful piece of business for Tim Sherwood’s side.

Ilori is 22 but he is yet to feature for Liverpool’s senior side, instead spending time on loan at Spanish side Granada and French club Bordeaux.

It was at the former club where he showed glimpses of his incredible passing range, setting up a memorable goal with a pass that was Steven Gerrard-esque and suggesting he was far more than just a typical centre-back.

Indeed such is Ilori’s impressive passing range and composure on the ball that he could well operate as a defensive midfielder if required, and that versatility means he is sure to get chances at Villa despite the presence of some very experienced centre-halves.

It would take a bold manager to try him further forward in the Premier League, but Sherwood is nothing if not bold and he has shown he can get the best out of young players time and time again.

One thing is for sure: It will be interesting to see how Ilori develops this season. But if he follows the trajectory many expect, Villa could end up with a very good player on their hands…and potentially for the long term.

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