Liverpool loanee Tiago Ilori discusses what he can offer Aston Villa

Tiago Ilori

The promising defender has joined Villa on a season-long deal with a view to a permanent move.

Aston Villa new boy Tiago Ilori has told AVTV that his physicality and ability to play out from the back are the main assets he can bring to Tim Sherwood’s side.

The 22-year-old defender joined Villa from Liverpool on deadline day on a season-long loan deal, with the club having the option to make his spell permanent next summer for a fee believed to be between £6 million and £9 million [h/t Liverpool Echo].

He is now expected to provide cover at centre-half for team captain Micah Richards, Ciaran Clark, fellow new boy Joleon Lescott and Jores Okore but, thanks to his impressive versatility, he could also see some time at right-back or even as a holding midfielder.

The Portugal Under-21 international himself is not quite sure how his new manager plans to use him at this early stage but, wherever he is asked to play, he intends to be ready to make an immediate impact.

“I just want to get as fit and strong as possible, and be ready to play if I get the chance,” said Ilori. “I want to help the team as much as I can.

“My main position is central defence. I’m tall, fast and can jump well. I think I’m quite an all-round player defensively, but I do like being in possession and playing out from the back – that’s one of the things I like the most.”

Born in London to an English father and Portuguese mother, Ilori joined Sporting Club de Portugal as a trainee in 2006 at the age of 13, before rising through the ranks to earn his first-team debut in November 2011.

He went on to make 14 total appearances for the Primeira Liga giants until sealing a £7 million switch to Liverpool in September 2013 and has since spent the past two seasons on loan at La Liga side Granada and ligue 1 outfit Bordeaux.

Yet to make a competitive appearance for the Reds as a result, the versatile defender has still appreciated his time at Anfield but it remains Sporting who have had the biggest impact on his career so far.

“Everything I know I learnt from Sporting,” he added. “I think I was fortunate to grow up in Portugal and have the chance to play for Sporting because they’re known to develop players – I don’t want to say better – but thy do it differently to everyone else.

“We had a great team and there was a lot of quality in the generation I grew up in. We improved a lot and learnt off each other. I’m very fortunate to have come from there.”

Nevertheless, Villa supporters will be hoping that Ilori is speaking about their club in such glowing terms at some point down the road.

He is certainly blessed with a promising package of both physical and technical gifts and, with Sherwood renowned for putting his faith in emerging talent, he looks to have landed in a great spot for his development – whether for the short-term or long-term.

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