By Alex Stevens

Jurgen Klopp has hailed Tiago Ilori as “outstanding” and a key player in Liverpool’s Under-23s team.

The Portugese centre-back was in the development side that thrashed Tottenham 6-2 on Monday night, which came eight days after he figured in the 4-0 hammering of Leicester.

Klopp was full of praise for Ilori, 23, who has struggled to make an impact at Anfield since his £6.4million transfer from Sporting Lisbon in the summer of 2013.

“Tiago Ilori is an outstanding player for that level and he’s someone who is doing really well,” Klopp said on Monday, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo. “The staff are all full of praise about his attitude which is good.”

The young centre-back has made just three senior appearances and was sent out on loan on three occasions to Granada, Bordeaux and Aston Villa.

The Sun claim that the Merseysiders were close to selling Ilori for £5million during the summer as he is not part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans.

It is said that the former Sporting player is not considered ready for Premier League football.

Ilori has a Liverpool contract that runs until the summer of 2018 but now appears set to end his three-and-a-half-year spell on Merseyside.

In other Liverpool team news, this is the team that could play Derby in the EFL Cup on Tuesday night.