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Ilori explains factors behind Madejski Stadium move

18 January 2017

Defender raring to get started with the Royals...

New Reading signing Tiago Ilori was delighted to put pen to paper on a three and half year deal with the club that will keep the former Liverpool centre back at Madejski Stadium until 2020.

The Portugal U23 international says he was very pleased when he heard of the Royals’ interest in him and is looking forward to the next chapter of his career with the club, working alongside gaffer Jaap Stam.

“I was flattered with the interest from Reading because it is a great club,” said the defender.

“There were a few factors in my decision, the manager was probably the strongest of them. To improve myself as a player I thought there would be no better person to learn from than someone like the manager who has been there and done it.

“Great things are happening here this season, I’m here to try and help add to that and help push the team forward.”

Ilori has kept a close eye on the Royals’ progress in the Sky Bet Championship so far this season, and is raring to get going with his new club, having been very impressed with what he has seen from the team so far this campaign.

“Coming in to the club in January, seeing the results so far this season, you can see the influence from the coaches and the spirit there is around the club and it is great to be able to be part of that,” commented the 23-year-old.

“When you see the project that Reading are creating, I would love to be a part of it.  I think they have the right conditions here for me to develop as a player.  I would love to be a part of the club’s future because they are going in the right direction.”

Reading’s possession style of football was also a big influence on Ilori’s decision to sign for the club, with the centre-half hoping that he can add something to the Reading squad and also develop and improve his game during his time at Madejski Stadium.

“Wherever I’ve been growing up, I’ve always been part of teams that play possession based football,” reflected Ilori. “That is not always as easy to find in England, but I think this is definitely the right choice because of the style Reading play.

“I’m hoping to come here, hopefully add to the quality of the team, work hard and be a benefit to the squad.

“My preferred position is as a central defender,” Tiago continued. “I’m used to playing possession football, especially from my time in Portugal. I’m quite attack-minded for a defender, I like to play as high as I can.

“That’s the main focus, keeping the ball and trying to play attractive football. I want to learn a lot as well because that is what it’s all about. I’m ready to learn and I know I’ve got a lot to learn about this league.”

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