Liverpool summer signing James Milner has been speaking to ESPN FC and heaped praise on Reds teammate Jordon Ibe, a man he feels could have a big impact at Anfield in the years to come.
The England international midfielder only agreed to move to the Merseyside outfit from Premier League rivals Manchester City on a free transfer on June 4. However, less than six weeks after his arrival, he has already passed judgement on the quality of players at Brendan Rodgers' disposal. He is particularly impressed with the potential shown by Ibe.
"I'd obviously seen him last year, [heard about] the hype, and seen him do well," he told ESPN FC. "He's got a lot of ability and he's still young, he's learning, but I think with the players he's got around him and the manager -- and the ability he has -- everything's there for him to go on and do well."
However, despite both pundits and fans claiming that Ibe can fill the void left by the departed Raheem Sterling, Milner explained that the expectations must be put into perspective to ensure that the 19-year-old is judged on his own progression, rather than in comparison to Manchester City's latest £49million signing.
"I don't think you want to compare him to other people. He's his own player and he's got ability, and you know Raheem's gone now and we have to move on from that."
Despite spending the first half of the season on-loan at Derby last term, Ibe went on to make 12 appearances for Rodgers' side - a short spell in which he showed tremendous promise, as well as the confidence to match.
Liverpool fans will be hoping he builds on his impressive start to life in the Premier League, with many believing he will in fact outshine the Anfield legacy - albeit brief - of Sterling. However, as Milner suggests, he may be best served - in what could be an influential season - playing his own game to his best strengths, without the shadow of a former player hanging over him.