Date of birth: 26th February 1993
Place of birth: Hampstead, London
Year signed: 2015
Signed from: Liverpool
Fee paid: Loan deal
Tiago Abiola Delfim Almeida Ilori began his football career as a nine-year-old, when he signed for Imortal DC in the Algarve.
In 2006, Ilori joined Sporting Clube de Portugal’s youth ranks as a striker.
He then joined Grupo Desportivo Estoril Praia on loan for the 2007-08 season and it was there that young Ilori converted to a defender.
He continued to play in defence upon his return to Sporting Clube de Portugal. Promoted to the senior squad, Ilori made his first team debut on 6th November 2011, playing the full ninety minutes of a 3-1 victory over União de Leiria.
On 14th December 2011, Ilori got his first taste of European football when he played in an UEFA Europa League game against S.S. Lazio, which his side lost 0-2.
Between 2011 and 2013, Ilori made twelve appearances for Sporting Clube de Portugal’s first team, scoring once, and a further twenty appearances for the club’s B team.
On 2nd September 2013, having impressed in the NextGen Series, Ilori was signed by Liverpool for an undisclosed fee, reported to be approximately £7 million.
Having been named as a substitute for his new club against Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup on 5th January 2014, Ilori was then loaned to Spanish side Granada Club de Fútbol for the remainder of the season, where he made nine appearances.
Ilori also spent the 2014-15 season on loan, this time joining French side Football Club des Girondins de Bordeaux. He made twelve appearances for Les Girondins, scoring once.
On 1st September 2015, Ilori joined Aston Villa Football Club on a season-long loan.
Eligible to play for England, Nigeria or Portugal, Ilori opted to represent Portugal at youth level and has been a member of Portugal’s U-18, U-19, U-20 and U-21 sides. To date, he has thirty-six youth caps for Portugal and has scored twice for his national side.
Quick, versatile, technically adept and an intelligent reader of the game, Ilori’s performances for Portugal have enabled the twenty-two-year-old defensive prospect to showcase his ability.