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Aston Villa give Liverpool loanee a surprisingly low squad number

Aston Villa have named their 25-man squad for the 2015-16 season, and there was one pretty big surprise.

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Well, we might have some idea of what Aston Villa are planning on doing with Liverpool loanee Tiago Ilori now. In their announcement of the 25-man squad today it was revealed that the club would be giving Ilori the number 2 that Nathan Baker vacated with his loan to Bristol City. I'll be the first to admit that I don't put too much credence into the cult of the kit number, but it's always odd to see loanees (especially young, unproven ones) given single-digit numbers.

This might indicate a couple of things though. It's obvious that 2 is not sacred at Villa (since Baker had it for a few weeks before being sent off), but it might show that we could be seeing Ilori get a bit of time at right back. He's been touted as primarily a centre back, and that's his best position. But when I spoke to SB Nation Soccer and former Liverpool Offside writer Conor Dowley on deadline day, he mentioned that while Ilori is best-suited for the centre he is perfectly capable of playing anywhere along the back. I even specifically asked about right back and Dowley said that he could definitely be capable there, though we shouldn't expect too much going forward.

The low number may also simply indicate that Tim Sherwood plans on giving Ilori plenty of playing time this season, as befitting a player with a single-digit number. This could mean that Ilori plays anywhere, really, but that he will play.

It's a strange enough occurrence for me abandon my dislike of analyzing numbers. But there remains the possibility that the number means nothing whatsoever and that Ilori was just taking a number since it was there. What do you think Villa have planned for Ilori?