Defender Tiago Ilori is determined to build on his first appearance in Liverpool colours and show supporters further evidence of his abilities – whether it is for the senior team or the U21s.

The summer signing joined several first-team squad members, including Martin Kelly and Raheem Sterling, at Anfield on Tuesday to help Alex Inglethorpe's U21s thrash Sunderland 5-2.

Ilori was Brendan Rodgers' sixth new recruit during the transfer window, swelling the club's defensive options alongside Mamadou Sakho earlier this month.

The Portuguese youth international now wants to play as many minutes as possible for his new team, thereby fulfilling his ambition of representing the Reds.

"I loved playing in the game and it was a great win," the No.26 said after Tuesday's victory.

"I hope I can carry on winning at Anfield. Every player wants to play whether it's in the first team or the reserves.

"I want to get as many minutes as I can. I didn't have a proper pre-season due to injuring my hand but it's good to be back fit now. I'm enjoying it here. Brendan Rodgers seems like a great guy and a great coach. I will do my best for the club.

"This is the best league in the world and it has always been a dream of mine to come and play here.


"It's never easy leaving the country you grew up in but it wasn't that difficult because I knew I was doing what I wanted to do.

"That made it easier. I was aware of a couple of other clubs that were interested but the way Liverpool dealt with it and spoke with me made it an easier choice.

"The club's history played a part but it was more about their approach and the way they dealt with me. I felt that this was the place to be."

Reds fans who watched Ilori in action earlier this week will have noticed the centre-back's pace, agility and comfort in possession.

Describing his attributes, he added: "I don't think I'm such a fighter like a typical centre-back, but I can be aggressive when I need to. I like to take the ball out. I'm quick as well.

"It's true that they have speed tests at Sporting and in one of them I have the record. Over 30 metres it's something like three seconds.

"I learned a lot at Sporting. The biggest game I've ever played in was away to Benfica last season. It was in front of 62,000 people. We lost 2-0 but we played really well and it was a great experience."