Jordan Ibe has enjoyed a fruitful pre-season with Liverpool, but is he the man to step up to the mark and aid Liverpool’s title challenge?
Jordon Ibe was born on 8th December 1995 in South London and began his football career in the Charlton Athletic youth academy who let him go at the age of 12. The youngster was then snapped up by Wycombe Wanderers where he worked his way through the ranks and impressed enough to make his full team debut at only 15 years of age. His goal against Sheffield Wednesday, in a 2–1 loss, makes him the youngest ever Wycombe Wanderers goal scorer.
This was impressive enough to attract attention from Premier League sides who saw him as one for the future and he eventually signed for Liverpool in December 2011. During his short time in the Wycombe Wanderers side, Ibe made 11 appearances and scored once.
Ibe had to take a step back to progress his career further as he went from playing first team football to going back to playing academy youth football. He began his career in the Liverpool U18 side and worked his way through the ranks once again before making his first team debut in a pre season friendly against Toronto on the 22 July 2012 but wasn’t seen in the first team squad again until he was an unused substitute against Southampton in March 2013.
This didn’t knock the youngster’s confidence though as his patience was rewarded when he started against QPR in the final game of the 2012/13 season when he set up Philippe Coutinho for the only goal of the game. On the 13th of July 2013, Ibe scored his first goal for the Liverpool first team when he netted a sweet strike against Preston North End in a pre-season friendly that ended 4-0.
Ibe also featured as a late substitute in Liverpool’s 5-1 demolition of Arsenal in February 2014 but the attacker didn’t get many other opportunities and was loaned to Birmingham City for the remainder of the season.
Jordon Ibe impressed during his loan spell at Birmingham as he played a part in their battle to survive in the Championship. The youngster opened the scoring against Millwall with a twenty-yard strike in a game where they eventually won 3-2 and played a part in Paul Caddis’ late strike against Bolton that prevented Birmingham from being relegated on the last day of the season.
The youngster returned to Liverpool after the 2013/14 season finished and featured in Liverpool’s post season fixture against Shamrock Rovers at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. The talented youngster impressed the Irish Liverpool fans as he set up goals for Iago Aspas and Fabio Borini, winning the man of the match award.
Ibe also made a huge impact at international level scoring a hat trick in England U-19’s 6-0 win over Montenegro in May 2014, in a UEFA European Championship qualifier.
The winger improved this summer and has easily been Liverpool’s most impressive player in the pre-season which began with Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat against Danish side Brondby. The game was supposed to be all about the return of Daniel Agger to his former club but Jordon Ibe stole the limelight as he stormed through the Brondy defence on a number of occasions and set up fellow Liverpool youngster Kristopher Peterson for a second half equaliser.
Ibe produced another impressive performance against Preston when he came on off the bench in the 20th minute and almost made an immediate impact with a great run which should have resulted in a goal. Surprisingly, Liverpool fell behind just before halftime, but the were much more impressive in the second half.
Ibe began to take a more direct approach to the game and ran at the Preston defence causing problems and setting up Suso who finished with a curling shot and immediately after providing an inch perfect cross for Swedish striker Kristoffer Peterson to finish.
The youngster is currently in North America with the Liverpool squad. If Jordon Ibe continues to impress before the start of the season then he will give Brendan Rodgers something to think about.
Ibe has lightning quick pace, physical strength and constantly threatens but above all he has the hunger and determination to make it at this level. The 18-year-old’s creative use of the ball is impressive but he needs to improve on his finishing to really push himself into Brendan Rodgers’ plans.
The thoughts of a future Liverpool side having Raheem Sterling running down one wing and Jordon Ibe the other, terrorising defences, is a mouth watering prospect for any Liverpool fan.
Sarah Fitzpatrick, Pundit Arena.