The last few matches of the season often provide one or two youth players an opportunity to get their first taste of senior team action, but in a season where a threadbare squad forced Brendan Rodgers to dip deeply into the youth ranks on many occasions, there were few players left who hadn't yet made their competitive debut but who could also realistically cope with the almighty pace and power of the Premier League.
With the likes of Andre Wisdom, Jerome Sinclair, Adam Morgan, and even Conor Coady making their competitive senior debuts this season in addition to the sizeable youth contingent already playing semi-regular first team football, the last match run out for one lucky kid fell to seventeen year-old Jordon Ibe. Ibe made his 45-minute club debut in the friendly against Toronto FC last summer before spending the season playing with the U21 team.
"I thought he did very well," said Brendan Rodgers after the match. "It's not easy playing at Anfield, his first game here for the first team. As the game went on he became better and better. He's got real potential and you can see he's a footballer. He linked up very well with young Coutinho and made some good passes and got some shots off.
"For all the young players, hopefully they'll see from this season that there's hope for them here — that they'll get an opportunity."
While Ibe is certainly still both incredibly raw and incredibly young — Ibe was born fifteen years to the day after John Lennon was shot — he held his own on the pitch, and provided Coutinho with an assist on the Brazilian's game winning goal. Like with some of the other youngsters on the team, it's certainly far too early to be putting Ibe on a pedestal of any kind, but a few more years of carefully managed development — and a few more Cristiano Ronaldo videos — could see the winger play a part in what could be an excellent future Liverpool team.