Liverpool To Make Jordon Ibe ‘Top Performer’
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says teenage winger Jordon Ibe will be given time to develop into a ‘top-class performer’.
The 19-year-old, who has been at Anfield since December 2011, has been used sparingly in the first team since his debut in a 1-0 home victory over QPR in May 2013.
After making only 12 Premier League appearances over the past three years, the England U20 international, who was loaned out to Birmingham City and Derby County, was handed a new long-term contract at the end of last season.
He scored one goal in 11 games during his time at St Andrews in 2014 and followed that with five in 20 while under the tutelage of Steve McClaren at the iPro Stadium the following year.
Now Rodgers expects the Londoner to ‘feature heavily next season’, saying, “We must not forget that Jordon is only 19.
“He broke into the team as a young lad and had some appearances but we felt he needed time out on loan where he did really well. When he came back last season he was exceptional in his performances. I think he really excites the supporters.
“He’s definitely a player that we want to really create into a top-class performer, but we’ve got to give him that time and we’re creating the environment for him to do that.”
Ibe featured prominently on Liverpool’s pre-season tour of Asia and Australia, the highlight a stunning equaliser in the 1-1 draw with a Malaysia XI in Kuala Lumpur last week.
Rogers acknowledges he is far from the finished article but expects him to continue his development in the coming seasons.
“It’s a year-on-year improvement with Jordon,” he added. “He still has a lot of potential and work to do but he is one that will certainly feature heavily this year.”