Sakho, Ilori, Liverpool, Ayre,

“Sakho is a top, top centre-half and that adds to the great centre-back pairings that we have already and it will give that depth,” said Ayre.

“He’s an important marquee signing for us. It was a difficult one to do and it was a difficult one for us to get, but I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to attract him to the football club.

“One of the things that Brendan said was that he wanted to add real depth and strength and Sakho is a Champions League player of great pedigree and experience.

“I think it’s difficult to imagine anyone filling Jamie Carragher’s shoes, but what the arrival will do is bring huge strength and experience to the squad. I think importantly, when you see him on the pitch, you see that he’s a leader and he’s very strong.

“He’s very much a character and I think that’s something that Brendan made clear in his selection and what he was looking for. As well as bringing in youth, he wanted to bring in experience and talent.

“The manager wanted to bring leaders and people who could dig in when needed. I think when our fans get to see Sakho in action, they’ll see he’s definitely got all of those characteristics.”

He continued: “We’ve got a group of centre-halves who are young and experienced. We’ve got a lot of depth and it’s not just a great group of centre-halves, it’s a good group for the future. That’s what we’ve been trying to do in all areas.

“Some of it will take a bit of time, but there’s been great investment in the squad and it’s a mixture of bringing in great experience, which costs a lot of money, but also bringing in good, young raw talent that we can develop.”

Talking about Ilori Ayre said:”He’s a young player, who has some experience, but he’ll obviously need more.”

“But he adds to that group of central defenders and he gives us something for the future as well as being someone who is able to contribute now.

“I know that Brendan and the team are looking forward to working hard with Tiago and getting him up to a high level. He’s another great coup for Liverpool, to bring in great, young talent, as we have in other areas of the team.

“I remember when I was a kid watching this club, it was all about bringing in young, relatively unknown talent and developing it into world-class talent.

“As long as we can continue to do that, I think we’ll be putting ourselves into good shape.