The curious case of Tiago llori

Last Friday Liverpool announced the signing of England under 19’s star Jordi Gomez, a player of great potential who had been linked with moves to Dortmund, Arsenal and Manchester City. There is no denying that at 3.5 million pounds Gomez is a punt worth taking for Liverpool, especially as he can play at both centre back and right back. Does that remind you of a current Liverpool youngster who has been out on loan for the last two seasons? No, Not Andre Wisdom, who spent the last two seasons at Derby and West Brom respectively, but Tiago llori, who is currently playing for Portugal at this years under 21 European Championship. llori has been part of a centre back paring who’ve kept two clean sheets in their first two games against England and Italy. You’re left wondering if Liverpool scouts were watching these games and did not already know Tiago was a Liverpool player, they would most likely take a punt on him like they have with Gomez.

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llori signed for Liverpool in September 2013 for 7 million pounds from Sporting Lisbon and was loaned out 5 months later to Granada in La Liga, without making a single first team appearance for Liverpool. For Granada Tiago played only 9 games for the first team before being loaned out again the following season to Bordeaux in Ligue 1 where a injury ravaged campaign saw just 15 games in all competitions. Before this months under 21 tournament in the Czech Republic you’d be forgiven for thinking Liverpool’s punt had failed and it would be highly unlikely he would ever make a first team appearance for the Anfield club, but at this years under 21 tournament he’s been one of the stand out players.
There is no doubting llori’s potential to be a quality central defender for Liverpool in the future, with the only blots against his name being no premiership experience and a poor injury record, both of which would be helped if he was actually at Liverpool with a chance to claim a place, albeit in just cup competitions, like this years Europa League campaign. He would also surely benefit by working with a medical staff who had a vested interest in his future. The biggest problem Tiago faces is that with Skrtel, Sakho, Lovren, Toure, Wisdom and now Gomez, where and when does he get a chance to play. You’re left wondering if Liverpool have looked enviously at Chelsea’s tactic of selling players who have hardly kicked a ball for them for huge profit, and have decided to do the same. In the curious case of llori you can’t help but feel he’ll never get the chance he deserves at Liverpool. A chance that,  judging on last seasons campaign, both parties could benefit from.