Liverpool have confirmed that Jordon Ibe, the teenaged winger, has been recalled from his loan at Derby County having performed to distinction during his spell with Steve McClaren’s Championship high-fliers.
Ibe joined the Rams on a season-long deal during the summer transfer window but has impressed Brendan Rodgers enough to earn a move back to Liverpool before the conclusion of the agreement.
The 19-year-old has made 24 appearances this season across all competitions, scoring five times, and has played a role in Derby’s quest to achieve promotion to the Premier League following last term’s heartbreak.
Derby were defeated by a late goal from Bobby Zamora in May’s playoff final with Queens Park Rangers but are in contention to go up once again, with McClaren’s side second in the top-flight, behind Bournemouth only on goal difference.
The loss of Ibe will be a blow for McClaren and Derby’s promotion hopes, and it will become even more frustrating if the English youngster is back at Liverpool purely just to make up the numbers.
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There are significant things expected of Ibe at Anfield, where he arrived from Wycombe two years ago, but it would appear unlikely that he will play a role of great prominence over the remainder of the campaign.
Ibe has played for Liverpool twice in the Premier League and, although he will surely add to that figure before the season’s end, he is not expected that he will be the player to revive Liverpool’s faltering season.
While Liverpool may have struggled for fluency and consistency and, most importantly, for goals, they are well covered in wide attacking areas, and Ibe is likely to serve as support for more senior players ahead of him.
Lazar Markovic has been in encouraging form for Liverpool of late, particularly in last weekend’s win at Sunderland, while Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana will ensure Ibe’s path to regular football will be a congested one.