Football - Under 21 FA Premier League - Liverpool FC v Sunderland AFCFANS who believe in the transfer committee versus Brendan Rodgers recruitment schism tend to use that narrative as yet more evidence of Rodgers’ failures, especially when it comes to judging a player, writes PAUL LITTLEBut if you are of that mind, could I suggest you don’t use Tiago Ilori as an example of the manager’s “inferiority”?

Ilori is the latest player being used as a stick to beat Brendan Rodgers with by those who would like to see him out of the job. The Portuguese is apparently another example of the manager’s dismissal or mishandling of transfer committee picks, proof that Rodgers is a poor judge of players with something of a chip on his shoulder.

For me, the Rodgers versus transfer committee narrative is one of the most annoying and tiresome doing the rounds among Liverpool fans. Perhaps it is true. Perhaps there is a two-headed transfer policy at Anfield. Maybe I’m just being naive, but I do wonder. No one seems to have very hard evidence, but plenty seem convinced.

For what it’s worth, I don’t really care. The club recruited the players — all involved have a stake. Given FSG’s approach to business, allowing such a state of affairs sees unlikely to me. If they have, then they carry the blame – unless they believe in the idea of “creative conflict.”

But then I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong before. But if there is such a split, then for my money, Ilori is not a particularly strong candidate for showing that the committee is a better judge of quality than the manager and that Liverpool are being very foolish in allowing him go to Villa on loan (with an option to make it a permanent move).

Put very simply, if the young defender is the major defensive talent many would have me believe, then why did only Sunderland and Aston Villa make a move for him this summer despite so many scouts watching him play? And why, if everyone is so convinced of his ability, did they only make loan offers?

With the transfer window closed, it should trouble those making a case for the player and the committee that those who seem to agree with their analysis of Ilori include Dick Advocaat  and Tim Sherwood. But like Brendan Rodgers, they really aren’t convinced by what they have seen so far. Hence the loan offers. Hardly a ringing endorsement is it?

Cards on the table, I’ve never seen Ilori play. Maybe he is magic. There are some who have watched him at Granada and Bordeaux, where in two seasons he has played a grand total of 21 league games (recurring injuries haven’t helped but may inform Rodgers’ doubts), and feel he has something to offer.

Others will point to his showing in the summer’s Under-21 European Championships as evidence of his quality, while forgetting that a tournament that saw Emre Can look like a cross between Mattheus and Beckenbauer rather than the conundrum he’s increasingly becoming at Anfield is probably not the best measure of a player’s true ability.

READ: Liverpool loanees – The Reds on borrowed time

But frankly, let’s be real here, Liverpool’s professional football people will also have been monitoring Ilori over the last two years, and to be honest, I have a feeling they are likely to have a better handle on the lad than Joe on Twitter.

Maybe Ilori is the real deal or will be. I’m not saying he is or he isn’t — although having turned 22, you’d like to think he’d have shown more at this stage.

But using him to launch attacks on Rodgers seems at best ill-judged for me (even I could suggest better targets). If indeed Ilori was a transfer committee pick, then I think there should be more focus on how they came to pay £7million of the club’s money for a kid who has figured highly only on the radars of clubs likely to be in the Premier League relegation dogfight again this season.


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