Liverpool loanee Tiago Ilori discusses his Aston Villa move, playing for Tim Sherwood

Tiago Ilori

The 22-year-old defender joined Villa on deadline day on a season-long deal.

Aston Villa new boy Tiago Ilori has told AVTV of his excitement at getting the chance to play Premier League football under manager Tim Sherwood.

The 22-year-old defender joined Villa on a season-long loan from Liverpool on deadline day and is now expected to provide cover for team captain Micah Richards, Joleon Lescott, Ciaran Clark and Jores Okore at centre-back.

Having enjoyed loan spells at Granada and Bordeaux, respectively, over the past two seasons, the Portugal Under-21 international is still to make his senior debut for Liverpool but believes Sherwood’s guidance will give him a great chance to make his mark on the English top-flight.

Speaking about his move to the Midlands, Ilori said: “It was all last-minute so I’m relieved that I had such a good option and I’m very happy to be here. I can’t say I know everything about Aston Villa’s history but I know that they’re a very stable team.

“I know about Tim [Sherwood] especially. He has a reputation of grooming young players and that’s one of the main reasons why I’m excited to be working with him.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to play in the Premier League and that’s why I signed for Liverpool in the first place. I’m very happy that Aston Villa are hopefully going to give me that chance.”

Born in London to an English father and Portuguese mother, Ilori joined Sporting Club de Portugal as a trainee in 2006 before rising through the ranks to earn his first-team debut in November 2011.

The promising defender went on to make 14 total appearances for the Primeira Liga giants before sealing a £7 million switch to Liverpool in September 2013, and has since spent the last two seasons developing his game out on loan in both La Liga and Ligue 1.

“I’ve had good experiences altogether,” he added on his spells with Granada and Bordeaux. “There’ve been some difficulties and whatnot but it’s definitely been good.

“With Granada I played against Barcelona, for example, against some of the best teams and players in the world.

“And with Bordeaux it was the same against Paris Saint-Germain. These last two seasons were good for me.”

While most comfortable at centre-half, Ilori can also fill in at either full-back spot if needed and has even been used as a defensive midfielder at times during his fledgling career.

That should do his chances of earning first-team minutes at Villa the world of good and, if he impresses over the course of the campaign, then there might even be a chance that his spell becomes permanent.

According to the likes of the Liverpool Echo, the claret and blues have the option to sign him outright at the end of the season for between £6 million and £9 million, having paid Liverpool a £1 million loan fee before the transfer deadline.

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