Liverpool academy director Alex Inglethorpe believes Jordon Ibe will be an 'attractive' proposition for the Reds first team next season due to his experience out on loan.
The 19-year-old, who is currently on loan at Derby County, has earned praise for his performances since his move to the Championship promotion favourites, with many tipping him to become a first team player at Liverpool next season.
While at Derby, the explosive attacker has been playing off the main striker in an attacking three and has already proven his worth with five goals and one assist in 19 league games. Although, given his progression in the last month, the second half of the season looks likely to be more productive for the exciting talent.
During an interview with The Bib Theorists, Liverpool academy director Alex Inglethorpe spoke of Ibe's loan and hinted that the experience he has picked up while out on loan will help him become a Liverpool first team player next season, suggesting that, like Suarez, he needed to learn the first-team game somewhere.
''Look at Jordon Ibe, who is doing so well at Derby County,'' explained Inglethorpe. ''Playing in big crowds, under a good manager, in a good team - I have a feeling that he will look a bit more attractive to our first team off the back of 40-50 appearances that will come by the end of the season [If you add his Birmingham games too].
''Like most, he’ll be more attractive with that experience than without. If you look at Luis Suarez, he came to Liverpool off the back of, I think, 120 senior games; some of those in the Eredivisie, some at Nacional – he had to learn somewhere.''
He has scored incredible goals, including one where he went past three defenders in a tight space to hammer the ball into the roof of the net from six yards, and he constantly offers an energetic outlet on the pitch for Steve McClaren's men to aim towards when they need an explosive spark.
As it stands, Ibe is improving on a weekly basis and a big second half of the season for Derby could be the catalyst to his first team career at Liverpool starting for good. If he wins promotion for the Rams, playing a big part in the process, then Rodgers will have no choice than to give him a starting role at Anfield next season.