Jordon Ibe - Player Profile

Liverpool’s Rising Star Shining Bright 

Personal information
Full name: Jordon Ashley Femi Ibe
Date of birth: 8 December 1995
Age: 19
Place of birth: Bermondsey, South London, England 
Height: 1.76 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in)
Playing position: Winger

Club information
Current team: Liverpool
Number: 33

Youth career 
2003–2007: Charlton Athletic
2007–2011: Wycombe Wanderers
2012–2013: Liverpool

Senior career
2011–2012: Wycombe Wanderers 11 Appearances, 1 goal
2012– Liverpool 7 Appearances, 0 goals
2014 → Birmingham City (loan) 11 Appearances, 1 goal
2014–2015 → Derby County (loan) 24 Appearances, 5 goals

National team
2012–2013 England U18 2 Appearances, 0 goals
2013–2014 England U19 6 Appearances, 4 goals
2014– England U20 2 Appearances, 0 goals

The rise of Ibe can only strengthen Rodgers’ hand when it comes to challenging for a Champions League place. One reason Ibe was sent on loan to Steve McClaren’s Derby at the start of the season was to fast-track his development as a team player as well as an individual of impressive pace, power and control.

One reason the 19-year-old was recalled by Brendan Rodgers in January, as the Liverpool manager again looked within his club for solutions rather than the transfer market, was how rapidly his awareness and decision-making improved during 24 appearances for McClaren’s side. Ibe’s role in the goal that put Liverpool firmly in the hunt for Champions League qualification last Tuesday provided confirmation of it. The timing and weight of the pass that enabled Adam Lallana to get behind the Spurs defence and cross for Balotelli’s breakthrough strike was in keeping with the intelligent, threatening performances that Ibe has produced since his return from Derby, his last two starts against Everton and Tottenham in particular. What is remarkable is that Rodgers chose to throw Ibe into two of the biggest games of Liverpool’s season. He was man of the match in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park, when his temperament and directness stood out on only the second Premier League start of his career, and was a creative source throughout the crucial 3-2 defeat of Mauricio Pochettino’s team, with Daniel Sturridge almost benefiting  three times from the teenager’s industry. Senior Liverpool players have long been impressed by the powerfully built Londoner, signed for an initial fee of around £500,000 from Wycombe Wanderers in 2011 as the club made a conscious effort to pay comparatively decent sums for bright British potential. The fact that he made his debut for Wycombe Wanderers as a 15-year-old suggests why Ibe might handle the big time better than some teenagers. His first yellow card offence was for running over to hug his mum after scoring against Sheffield Wednesday.

The talented youngster, who can play up front or out on the wing, started his Anfield career at the Academy and began life at Liverpool with the U18 squad and is seen as a great prospect for the future, having risen quickly through the ranks. The wide-man possesses a combination of phenomenal speed and powerful upper-body strength, with his growth earning a place in the first-team squad that travelled to North America on pre-season tour in 2012. After a series of outstanding displays in the FA Youth Cup, the then 17-year-old was handed a senior debut by Brendan Rodgers on the final day of the 2012-13 season and impressed at Anfield with an energetic display which included an assist for the winning goal. Ibe subsequently participated in a second successive tour with the Reds - this time to Indonesia, Australia and Thailand in the summer of 2013 - and once more caught the eye with performances worthy of the first team. After being handed his senior Liverpool debut at 17, he showed great potential but lacked the experience and was not ready for an extended run, hence Rodgers’ decision to send him on loan to Birmingham City last season and Derby this season. When it comes to the talented youngster’s international career, Nigeria could offer him full international football but since the Nigerian FA possesses a level of competence that makes the English FA seem like German rocket science, Sturridge’s prediction that Ibe is the future of English football is likely to be tested.

Flexibility is a trait Ibe has in common with teammate Raheem Sterling and that is likely to ensure first-team opportunities continue to come under Rodgers. Liverpool’s track record of nurturing players who made their Premier League debuts before the age of 20 is relatively strong, and Rodgers believes Ibe has the potential to maintain it. Ibe is well on his way to establishing himself in Liverpool’s plans during the years to come.