Jordon Ibe was one of the standout players during our 2-0 pre-season victory over Adelaide United yesterday, and his manager has singled him out for praise.
“He is still very young, he is still 19 years of age but you can see the potential in him,” Rodgers said, reported in the Echo.
“He just needs to be continually working hard at his game. He has still got a long way to go for that consistency but everyone sees that potential.
“He went out on loan last season and came back to be part of the first team so he is very much part of the squad.”
With Raheem Sterling departing to Manchester City, Ibe’s chances of consistent first-team football in 2015/16 have rocketed, and strong performances in these friendlies will boost his chances of starting matches when the season begins.
“All our young players know that if they demonstrate the right personality they have a chance to play,” Rodgers continued.
“Look at Joe Gomez. At 18 years of age, he has huge potential as well.
“It is up to them. They know they will get their chance if they can co-ordinate their game and work to the plan of the collective then they will have a great chance.
“Jordon is a very exciting talent and we will manage him individually.
“There is nothing the same for everyone, he is his own player and we need to manage him and what is best for him and the team.
“He is a winger that likes to be on the outside. I’ve played him as a No 10 and had a look at him at him in there.
“I think he could maybe play that role as well but I think he is a natural winger. He is happy to be in the duel, he likes to set up the one v one. His best position will be on the sides for sure.”
Watching Ibe’s progression this year will be terrifically exciting. Despite Sterling’s exit, the teenage flyer still has the likes of Adam Lallana, Coutinho, Lazar Markovic and new signing Roberto Firmino to compete with for Premier League minutes.
His ability and talent is undeniable, but unless he starts delivering immediately, he sadly won’t get prolonged chances to do so – such is the urgency for a strong start.
Physically and technically though, Ibe has all the tools to do so.