Not only has Jordon Ibe taken pre-season by storm, but the 19-year-old has undertaken extra training this summer to hone his superb natural skills.
Ibe has been a consistent menace down the right wing for us during the summer friendlies. His most memorable moment came versus Malaysia XI when he smashed in a thunderbolt with his left foot, but in truth – his overall performances have been equally impressive. Combining pace, power and trickery in equal measure.
But noticeably, Ibe’s not entirely happy with his contributions, and has vowed to do better.
“I’m not completely satisfied because I need to keep working on a few things like my end product, getting the ball and finding someone in the box and trying to add a few more goals to my game,” he told the official website.
“I’m quite self-critical. I like to think about things after a game – things I could have improved on like maybe having taken a shot on or something.
“I spoke about it with Alex Inglethorpe and the manager had suggested to him that I do some extra sessions to keep myself ticking over during the summer.
“I’m definitely feeling the benefits of that. All the little bits of extra work add up. I have to give a lot of credit to Alex. It was great to come in and work with someone like Kenny [Dalglish].
“Hopefully it’s going to keep adding up and I’m hoping to add a few more goals to my game.
“I know I’m at a young age, but in my position I need to have an end product. If I’m not getting a goal in a game, then I need to be trying to get an assist for one of my teammates or making sure I have a great game.
“They’re the three things I am working on to try and do regularly. Hopefully I’ll see the benefit from doing that.”
Ibe’s certainly saying all the right things. Despite his age, a modern winger for a top club needs to consistently register goals and assists, simply. If he doesn’t, then his spot in the first-team will betaken by someone else who will attempt to.
But the teenager’s pre-season has been impressive enough to suggest he might just hit the ground running on this campaign’s inception.
The form he’s displayed has silenced most fans calling for a direct Raheem Sterling replacement, as if anything, the £49m sale of the wantaway winger has eased Ibe’s transition into the side.
It would be difficult for Rodgers to leave Ibe out versus Stoke, as his pace down the right would give us another attacking dimension. No other player in the squad has his speed, and judging by these quotes – he’s raring to go.