Sunderland had attempted to bring in Liverpool youngster Ilori before the close of the transfer window, but they lost out to Aston Villa and a report in the Northern Echo explains why.
It is stated that Ilori, 22, rejected the chance to switch to the Stadium of Light due to a concern about the lack of first-team action he would have received on Wearside.
Instead, Villa signed him just minutes before the passing of the deadline, and it must be that head coach Tim Sherwood promised him a certain amount of action as a first-team start for the Birmingham-based club.
Ilori would have been a good signing for the Black Cats, and has shown himself to be a central defender with real promise. After some impressive loan spells he is unfortunate to not have been given a chance at Anfield yet - especially considering Liverpool's ongoing defensive troubles - and a run of games on Wearside could have seen him cement his place in Dick Advocaat’s team.
It actually appears as if first-team chances would have been more likely at the Stadium of Light than at Villa Park, with Sherwood bringing in Micah Richards and Joleon Lescott, as well as being able to select the likes of Jores Okore and Ciaran Clark for the central positions.
Clearly Ilori has been given more promises for first-team football at Villa Park than he would have got in the North East, but on the surface, it appears as if a switch to the Stadium of Light would have made more sense for the young defender.