Liverpool win English starlet race


Liverpool have won the race to sign 16-year-old Wycombe starlet Jordon Ibe when he finishes his final year at secondary school next summer, according to various reports.

The Reds have beaten off strong competition from all of the country’s elite clubs, including Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, to capture Ibe’s signature for around £500,000.

The striker became the youngest ever Football League goalscorer at 15 years and 355 days when he found the net in a 2-1 loss to Sheffield Wednesday in October, and was controversially booked for celebrating with members of his family who were in the crowd.

Wycombe manager Gary Waddock was keen to protect Ibe after he burst onto the scene, but backed him to play in the Premier League in the future.

Speaking after Ibe’s record-breaking goal, Waddock said: “We just want to make sure he goes on and fulfils that potential he's got. And possibly, with the talent he's got, he could go and play at the highest level.

"He trains with us and we see the talent he's got every time he's in our training sessions, and I just thought why not start him?

"I took the age out of it and looked at the player on merit and he deserves his chance. Did he take it? He certainly did."

The signing of Ibe continues Liverpool’s policy of bringing young British talent to Anfield, whilst it is thought Wycombe have decided to sell before the Elite Player Performance Plan becomes active.

That initiative will make it easier for top flight clubs to poach youngsters from lower league teams, so the Chairboys appear to have opted to act quickly.

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