Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has hinted that he will continue to hand Jordon Ibe first-team chances at Anfield following his shock Merseyside derby start on Saturday.
The 19-year-old winger was re-called early from a loan spell with Championship side Derby in January after impressing under the guidance of Steve McClaren.
Although cup tied for both the Capital One Cup and FA Cup, Ibe is eligible to play in league and European action, and was handed just his third competitive start for the club in the 0-0 against Everton.
The decision to put the teenager in at right wing-back ahead of the impressive Lazar Markovic came as a shock, but the former Wycombe Wanderers trainee came through well, and almost netted a potential winner with a 25 yard first half strike – which hit the post.
Rodgers has a reputation for nurturing young talent – Raheem Sterling, Suso, Andre Wisdom and Jon Flanagan have all made breakthroughs under his guidance – and the ex-Swansea boss says that Ibe will get his chance:
“Last year was the year where I felt he was training and it was a case of getting him around the first team and top players’ mentalities,” he is quoted by the Daily Star.
“He is a really good boy – he wants to learn and wants to play for Liverpool, he loves Liverpool. It was just a case of assessing him over the summer; to see if we were going to get him enough game time.
“But I felt he needed experience, just to get six months of experience playing at a good club. He went to a great club at Derby and a very good manager, and he developed very well.
“He has come back and he will play a big part for us between now and the end of the season. He is a big talent and just turned 19, so it’s very good.”