In January, days before Derby were due to play local-rivals Nottingham Forest, Brendan Rodgers made the decision to bring back Ibe from his loan spell with the Rams in order to integrate him into the first team.
Since his return, the youngster is yet to have a good long run out in the first team and his only start has come for the Under-21s in a grudge match against Manchester United in the youth Premier League. Nevertheless, the Northern Irish manager has backed his decision to recall the youngster and explained exactly why he did it.
‘’We brought him back because with the system we’re playing he can probably play in four positions, so there’s a greater chance for him to play,’’ explained Rodgers.
‘’He’ll certainly come into the squad for the weekend and whether he starts or comes off the bench as he has done in a couple of games, he’s got an incredible talent. It’s my job, along with the staff, to nurture that over the coming years, like we have done with other young players.’’
Will Rodgers be proven right in his decision to recall Jordon Ibe?
The decision to recall the wide-attacking midfielder was one that was met with scepticism from Derby fans due to the player’s inconsistency over the first six months of the season.
In his last few weeks at the Championship promotion hopefuls, Ibe began to mature into a fantastic player but still had a long way to go before cementing his place in a Derby side with a fully fit squad – a step that many thought he needed to take before returning to Liverpool.
Nevertheless, if he does play in the first team for the rest of the season and does get a fair crack at the whip at becoming an Anfield regular on a matchday then the decision to recall him will have been a shrewd one by Rodgers as it has allowed him to bolster his first-team squad for this season for free.