Liverpool’s academy director Alex Ingelthorpe has been speaking about Jordon Ibe in an interview with the club’s official website.
The 19-year-old has been in wonderful form since returning from his loan spell away from Anfield, impressing in recent starts against Everton and Tottenham Hotspur before his match-winning contribution in the Europa League tie against Besiktas.
Ibe won the penalty that was converted by Mario Balotelli in the first leg, and the teenager’s form suggests Brendan Rodgers will be using him plenty more times this season and beyond.
Writing in his first column dedicated to Liverpool’s academy, Inglethorpe said, “Jordon has followed a different path to someone like Raheem Sterling, who we felt could go straight into the first-team squad.
“Jordon’s experiences on loan with Birmingham City and Derby County have given him confidence and experience to play in our first-team.”
It is interesting to hear how the club treated arguably their two most talented youngsters, believing as they did that Sterling could do a job week in, week out, despite his tender age, while feeling that Ibe needed more time to develop away from the club before returning ready for the next stage of his career.
The decision has proved to be a canny one, and now Liverpool can benefit from not one, but two wonderful young wingers who will be vital to the club for the next decade.