Young Jordon Ibe has burst onto the scene since returning to Anfield recently and the Liverpool star has all the makings of becoming a very special player.
Ibe, who signed for the Reds from Wycombe Wanderers in 2012, has made just six Premier League appearances for Liverpool since joining. But after successful loan spells with Birmingham City and Derby County respectively, the 19-year-old has come back to Merseyside hungrier and fitter than ever, and has been a real revelation since making only his second league start for Liverpool in the 0-0 draw with rivals Everton.
Brendan Rodgers handed the winger his first Premier League start since the final day of the 2012-2013 season, which ended in a 1-0 home win over Queens Park Rangers. And the decision turned out to be a very fruitful one, as Ibe certainly didn’t disappoint.
After his superb display against the Toffees, the Liverpool boss praised the teenager’s performance, he told BBC Sport: “I’ve just been waiting to put Jordon in. I had no qualms about putting him in, it was a brilliant performance.”
Rodgers added; “He was unfortunate not to score with that great strike but he’s got a wonderful temperament and technique and tactically he was very, very good coming into that system, knowing when to go forward and when to tuck in.”
Ibe followed up his excellent outing at Goodison Park, with another impressive display in the Reds’ 3-2 triumph over top four rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday. The England U20 international showed pace, strength and dribbling skill which stretched the Spurs defence, and he was at the forefront of everything good that Liverpool produced.
The Reds have undoubtedly turned their season around in the last couple of months after an incredible run of results has seen them lose just once in 21 games. Last season’s runners-up look like they’ve hit top form at just the right time, and they are now breathing down the neck’s of the other top four candidates.
With the emergence of Ibe, Liverpool now have another excellent addition to add to their ever-improving squad. Albeit in the second tier, Ibe already proved what he was capable of whilst at Birmingham last year, and even more so this season at Derby. The tricky winger made 20 Championship appearances for the Rams and scored five times for Steve McClaren’s side. He slotted into Derby’s style of play with real aplomb, and McClaren would have been bitterly disappointed to see him return to Merseyside. Ibe played a huge role at Pride Park, and was a major reason of why Derby are flying so high in the Championship table.
Jordon Ibe is still very young, and obviously still very raw. The former Wycombe graduate has got a lot of developing to do, but if he’s only going to get better than what he is now, then Liverpool unquestionably have an outstanding player on their hands. We must try not get too carried away though, he has only made three Premier League starts in his career, and we do have a tendency to get overly excited about young English talent.
But if Rodgers continues to nurture him and give him the opportunity to express his dazzling ability, then we have every reason to get excited.