Brendan Rodgers hails Jordon Ibe

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Brendan Rodgers insists Jordon Ibe will play a key role in the 2015/16 season for Liverpool.

Ibe was loaned out to Derby County at the start of last season and impressed so much at Pride Park that he was recalled early to rejoin the Reds' first team squad.

The 19-year-old played a significant role when returning to Anfield, however, was disrupted with injury in March.


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Ibe has been top-class during Liverpool's pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia and played an instrumental part during his side's 2-0 victory against Adelaide United on Monday, displaying a performance of electric pace and bold decision making.

With the departure of Raheem Sterling to Manchester City, Ibe is set to play a more advanced role in Rodgers' side this season.

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And the Northern Irishman admits Ibe will be used heavily, however, believes the winger must develop further to reach his true potential.

"He's still very young, he's still 19 years of age, but I think you see the potential," Rodgers told the club's official website. "It's just [about] him continually working hard at his game; he's still got a way to go for that consistency but I think everyone sees that potential.

"All our young players at the club know that if they demonstrate the right personality, they have a chance to play.

"Joe Gomez at 18 years of age has huge potential as well. It's up to them. They know they'll get a chance if they co-ordinate their game and work to the plan of the collective, then there'll be a chance.

"Jordon is a very exciting talent and we'll manage him individually, because it's not the same for everyone. He's his own player and we need to manage him and what's best for him and the team."


Last season Ibe proved he was capable of playing at the very top level and got plenty of Liverpool fans excited about his future.

He surprisingly started in the Merseyside derby against Everton on his first game back from his loan spell at Derby and he performed sublimely, striking the crossbar 25 yards out in the first half and was awarded man of the match.

The England Under-19 international followed that effort up with a solid performance in the Reds' 3-2 win against Tottenham Hotspur and his run on the right-wing directly lead to Mario Balotelli's late winner.

One reason why Liverpool were willing to sell Sterling is because they had a suited replacement in the form of Ibe and many Kopites do indeed feel the latter is the better player. Whereas Sterling relies on his pace, the former Wycombe Wanderers man has more tactical awareness to his game and more tricks on the ball.


Despite Sterling's departure, Ibe will still have plenty of competition for a place in Rodgers' starting XI.

Liverpool have a number of players who are talented in the final third; Lazar Markovic's first season at Anfield following his £20 million signing from Benfica last summer wasn't the most inspiring, but, he was asked to play wing-back most of the time, a role he did not take to well. If he is used to attack only, the Serbia international could be a huge threat going forward.

Roberto Firmino has joined the Reds for £29.5 million from Hoffenheim this summer and, given his reputation having scored four goals from ten games for Brazil, will likely play plenty for the Merseyside club this season,

Whereas Ibe mainly played out wide last season, he is capable of playing through the middle and Rodgers has toyed with that idea.

"I've played him in the No.10 [role] - I've had a little look at him in there and I think he could maybe play that role as well, but I think he is a natural winger that likes to be on the outside," the former Swansea City manager added.

"He's happy to be in the duel and likes to set up the one v one. His best positions will be on the sides, for sure."

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