Ilori can be Villa’s Emre Can – Sherwood

Date published: Friday 11th September 2015 9:43

Tiago Ilori of Portugal controls the ball during the UEFA Under21 European Championship 2015 match between Italy and Portugal at Mestsky Fotbalovy Stadium

Tiago Ilori: Liverpool star tipped to have a big impact at Aston Villa

Tim Sherwood has likened Aston Villa’s recent loan signing Tiago Ilori to a player from the Portuguese defender’s parent club Liverpool – Emre Can.

Ilori, a deadline day loan signing for Villa, is recognised mainly as a centre-half both at club level and in his international youth career with Portugal.

Aston Villa boss Sherwood believes Ilori is more than capable in a number of positions however, and could develop to be an integral part of his side.

“Tiago is a player I have known since he’s been at the academy at Sporting Lisbon. He’s a player I have known for a long time,” he told the club’s official website.

“I wouldn’t have taken him on loan if there wasn’t an opportunity to buy him at the end of it. I am not interested in developing players for other clubs. I am interested in developing for ourselves.

“If he becomes what I think he can be, he’s a good buy at the money we’re talking about.

“He’s quick and elegant. He’s played in four different countries, when you include England. He’s had a good rounded development. He’s very composed on the ball and versatile.

“He can play right-back, centre-back and I see him playing holding midfield as well.

“He’s a development project and someone I am very excited to work with.”

Sherwood believes a comparison with Germany international Can is pertinent, considering the Liverpool star has reprised a number of different positions at Anfield.

He added, of 22-year-old Ilori: “I see him like an Emre Can. He’s been successful playing in every position. A lot of people say that if you don’t nail down one position, it’s detrimental to your career. I don’t believe that. I believe it gives you the chance to play more minutes.

“I think he could be an exceptional player. He’s not there yet. But he’s in the right place.”

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