Liverpool's Tiago Ilori hoping for more opportunities after long-awaited debut

Liverpool's defensive resources are very stretched and Ilori may get more opportunities after his debut against Exeter City.

Liverpool defender Tiago Ilori hopes to have more chances with the Reds after making his long-awaited debut for the club in Friday's 2-2 draw with Exeter City in their third round FA Cup tie. 

Ilori was signed in the summer of 2013 for around £7 million but was never given a look in and was sent on loan to Bordeaux and Granada. This season he was loaned out to Aston Villa but didn't play a game, and his loan spell was cancelled as Liverpool's injury crisis took hold.

The London-born defender told the Liverpool Echo: “It was a dream come true. Hopefully there will be more minutes to come for me in a Liverpool shirt.

“I'm pleased to be back. This is where I feel most comfortable. This is my parent club. I love being here."

Ilori's lack of fitness and game time was evident as he limped off in the closing stages at St James' Park on Friday with what looked like cramp. 

The Portugal Under-21 star had a difficult time of things though there were flashes of why he is highly rated, but seemed uneasy dealing with many aerial challenges that came his way.

But with Liverpool struggling for bodies at the back with Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren sidelined with hamstring injuries, Mamadou Sakho struggling with a knee problem and Kolo Toure recently suffering from cramp, Ilori may well get more opportunities this month. 

If he does get more game time, Liverpool fans will be hoping more time on the training ground will bring about a more solid performance from Ilori, especially with a crucial run of fixtures ahead.

There is a chance that Kolo Toure could be available for Arsenal and that both Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren could return before the end of the month. 

But given the scale of Liverpool's injury crisis this season, there is every reason to think that Ilori could receive more opportunities before the season concludes. 

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