Has this decision proved Rodgers is smarter than his rival managers?

Brendan Rodgers' use of the loan market is working wonders for Liverpool in the case of Jordon Ibe.

Much has been said about Jordon Ibe since he returned to Liverpool from his most recent loan spell at Derby County.

The 19-year-old winger has benefited considerably from his temporary stints elsewhere; to such an extent that he is now a regular – and highly effective – part of Liverpool’s starting line-up.

But as well as turning Ibe from promising talent into first-team star, has Brendan Rodgers shown his managerial counterparts how best to use the January transfer market?

While many managers spend the winter sales shopping around for the best deal, which is usually anything but in the cold light of day, Rodgers ignored the calls to add to his squad by merely throwing a chequebook at any problems he may have had.

Instead he added Ibe, a player who already knew the club, the players and the manager, but one who arrived like a sparkling new addition.

In short, Ibe was a January signing who cost nothing and came without any risk, and his form since returning to Liverpool suggests other clubs should do exactly what Rodgers has to great effect.

Some clubs use the loan market brilliantly and others not so much, but why aren’t more Premier League sides using the first half of a campaign to blood their best young talent elsewhere before recalling them at a vital stage of the season, using them as catalysts that could make all the difference?

It is a mode of thinking that more managers should adopt, because other clubs have players who could make the difference in the top flight despite their tender years.

Giving them half a season to play regularly and then bringing them back when they are in peak physical condition and with their confidence sky-high is surely a no-brainer.

Ibe is proving the benefit of doing just that, and at this rate he could help inspire Liverpool to plenty of success between now and May.

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