NAME: Jordon Ibe
MARKET VALUE: £450,000
Liverpool have seen players such as Raheem Sterling, Andre Wisdom and Suso all feature heavily in recent campaigns, mainly due to necessity. Sterling was a key player last season and despite being rested in the second half of the season, proved his worth. Wisdom provided solid defensive cover and Suso impressed in a handful of showings.
Jordon Ibe is the next name to be wheeled out of the academy and into the first team. Liverpool fought off competition from the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Spurs to sign Ibe from Wycombe Wanderers for £500k. The England forward made his full Premier League debut last season during the final game at Anfield. The winger impressed despite being subbed for Fabio Borini in the 63rd minute, grabbing an assist for his Brazilian team-mate Phillipe Coutinho.
It was clear that Ibe could be a player heavily involved in the first team next season, showcasing devastating pace and quality dribbling skills. Ibe travelled with the first team for their pre-season tour, scoring in their first friendly against Preston North End. He was assigned the number 33 shirt number and made his first start of the season against Notts County.
Ibe is a powerful player with bags of skills and a strong work rate. He can be deployed on either wing or as a striker and it won’t be long before Ibe establishes himself as a first team regular such as Sterling.
Liverpool must however nurture their young star carefully. If The Reds want to maximise his potential, they must continue to give the 17 year old minutes. If not, Ibe must have game time regularly either in the reserves or to another team on loan. Sterling was managed perfectly with Rodgers utilising the wide man but also protecting him from fatigue in the latter part of the campaign. Ibe’s development can be hurt by lack of game time just like Daniel Pacheco under Rafael Benitez who was finally sold on a permanent deal this summer after failing to progress after a good start.
However, with great ability and a great eye for goal, Jordon Ibe could be the name on the lips of the Kop for years to come.