Liverpool prodigy Jordon Ibe says that teammates Raheem Sterling and Mario Balotelli have been big influences on his rise at Anfield, The Sun reports.
The 19-year-old is the latest product on Merseyside to break in to the first team and make a huge impression on pundits and fans alike.
After spending much of the first half of the current campaign dazzling Championship supporters at promotion favourites Derby County, Ibe is now beginning to turn heads on Merseyside following his January recall.
The rigors and pressures of Premier League football can often be overwhelming for young talents, but fortunately for the winger he boasts plenty of support and from two teammates in particular.
“Now I am learning from attacking players like Mario Balotelli, Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho,” Ibe explained.
“And I’m trying to add goals to my game to prove to the manager I can keep playing. Raheem has been a really big influence. We talk off the pitch and he gives me advice — he’s a player I look up to.
“He is a year older than me and it gives me confidence to try to achieve what he has at such a young age. Mario is another person who has helped me on and off the pitch.”
Ibe’s first impressions during the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park were very good indeed, both from an attacking perspective and his willingness to track back and work hard for the team.
In his two Premier League starts for the Reds, Brendan Rodgers has selected the winger to fulfil a wing-back type of role which requires stamina and concentration.
While Ibe has shown to have both of these abilities in his locker, there are some questions as to whether playing him in a deeper role eliminates what is so good about his game.
Like Sterling, his close control, pace and trickery are his forte and perhaps a wing-back position will not allow him to get forward enough to really cause the opposition problems.