Football

Jordon Ibe thriving under Jurgen Klopp

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Liverpool have slowly and steadily improved under Jurgen Klopp and things are beginning to click.

Within a week, the German has already buckled two trends that Brendan Rodgers was unable to.

The Reds beat Chelsea for the first time in nine attempts and recorded their first European away victory for three years with a 1-0 victory on Thursday evening against Rubin Kazan.

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Young Team

Confidence is sky-high in the Anfield camp under the ex-Borussia Dortmund manager and there is a much-needed confidence instilled into the team.

Klopp has inherited a youthful squad at Liverpool, but that would not have concerned him after taking the reigns. In fact, he will have relished the chance to drive his philosophy into youngsters eager to learn.

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Marco Reus, Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski are just three of Klopp's proteges who he worked with from a tender age. Through listening to his words of wisdom, they all soon established themselves as world-class players that every manager would relish having at their disposal.

Jordon Ibe

One man who has been given a new lease of life under the German is Jordon Ibe, who is beginning to unleash his true potential.

There was plenty of hype around him heading into this season. Many fans expected him to fill the boots of Raheem Sterling - some even thought he had a much better chance to develop into a top star than his former team-mate.

He was expected to be the Reds' new young star, producing world-class performances on a consistent basis and become as valuable a member of the squad as Philippe Coutinho.

Ibe could not generate any momentum under Rodgers earlier this term and, after starting Liverpool's early games, was soon dropped to the bench.

Form Boost

He has impressed off the bench on a number of occasions and menaced the Chelsea defence last Sunday, setting up Christan Benteke for Liverpool's third.

The England Under-21's international was given the nod by his manager to face Kazan and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

He was Liverpool's chief protagonist on the break and offered his team much-needed width that has been distinctly lacking during the Klopp era.

Impressive Performance

He was a menace on the right-hand side, always looking to make direct runs towards goal and looking for a breakthrough. He also linked up well with the overlapping Nathaniel Clyne several times and that partnership has every chance of blossoming.

The former Wycombe Wanderers man was not daunted by the occasion playing in the freezing conditions of Russia and, instead, thrived from the first whistle. He knew he had to make a strong statement and could not have impressed anymore.

He recorded 11 take-ons, eight crosses, four shots and took his goal sublimely when bursting through on goal, keeping his composure when under pressure.

It is amazing what encouragement and reaffirmed belief in their own ability can do for some players.

On Ibe's performance, Klopp told the club website: “He has a lot to learn, but has a really good base.

"He feels good at the moment and we could see it tonight. Like everyone, he has to work hard – he is very young and has a long way to go.

"He has to learn and if he is prepared to listen, everything will be good.”

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Topics:
Premier League
Liverpool
Europa League
Football

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