Brendan Rodgers went on a central defender shopping spree in the summer. With Jamie Carragher retiring, it was clear that a new central defender had to be brought in but Rodgers decided to bring in three; Kolo Toure, Mamadou Sakho and Tiago Ilori, all three very different in their own right.
Toure was seen as a straight replacement for Carragher as he offers valuable experience at the back whilst Sakho was brought in to go straight into the first team as he is an accomplished defender. The signing of Ilori from Sporting caught many fans by surprise as he is only 20-years old.
It was said that Liverpool spent £7million on Ilori but Rodgers has denied this claim and said that the Reds paid much less than that for him.
Rodgers said in the Liverpool Echo:
“Signing Ilori was about looking after the future of the club. Centre-halves are very hard to get.
“I know as well as anyone, especially working with young players, that they need time in that area. He was one that became available. He wasn’t overly-priced.
“I see the price that is quoted (£7million) and it is nowhere near the mark to be honest. He has come in, he will have six months to adapt and then he will go out and get experience.
“Hopefully in the future, maybe long after I am gone, he can prove to be a talent. That is the responsibility of myself and the club going forward to nurture it.
“Of course I have to focus very much on the here and now, but I always have to respect the club and have one eye on the future.”
So now we know that Ilori was not signed for £7million according to Rodgers. What is interesting to note is that Rodgers has highlighted that the young defender will most likely go out on loan in January in a bid to get him to play more regular football. That would be a very beneficial move for all parties involved as Ilori will struggle to make the starting lineup this season ahead of Skrtel, Agger, Toure and Sakho.