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Has Jürgen Klopp Rescued Jordon Ibe?

Jan Mølby seems to think so.

Epsilon/Getty Images

The sight of Liverpool's manager bellowing at Jordon Ibe with joy after victory over Rubin Kazan was another signature moment of the 48-year-old's brief reign at Anfield. Liverpool departed Russia with a first English victory away to Rubin Kazan in European football and a first competitive goal for Ibe in a Liverpool shirt.

Still only a teenager, one shouldn't forget that Ibe was recalled from his loan at Derby County at the start of the year. In only his second start for Liverpool in the Merseyside derby, he was named man of the match in a goalless draw. The post rattled at Goodison Park to deny the youngster from scoring one of the great goals in one of English football's biggest derbies. Promising displays continued that earned a new contract, but this season Ibe seemed to badly lose his way as Liverpool struggled under Brendan Rodgers.

There were signs of renewed confidence and promise in Ibe's substitute appearances under Jürgen Klopp, and a scoring the winning goal away in European football was a pleasing way to cap a fine performance. The 19-year-old naturally only had words of praise for a manager he's only worked with for a month.

"He’s a great manager, I’m delighted to be working with him," Thursday's match-winner said. "He’s showing me new things in training and obviously training is different now so I’m learning.  Hopefully I can keep getting the experience I need and he can develop me into a good player.  Everybody’s doing well in training and we’re just delighted as a group to be doing well now. Hopefully we can just keep winning games and make it a repetition now."

Liverpool's side lacks pace in wide areas to support the attack. Quick fullbacks aren't enough, and Ibe is fortunate that he's the only player comfortable out wide with genuine speed. Klopp described Ibe in his post-match comments as "fast, strong, good at dribbling" even if the youngster "has a lot to learn" to develop as a consistent threat for the club. Klopp's advice seems to be taken on by Ibe, a player who is the sort to take time away from his holidays for extra training with a Liverpool legend.

Jan Mølby, a midfielder who spent over ten years at Liverpool, believes that Klopp's arrival was beneficial for Ibe in particular. Rodgers' last European game in charge wasn't a good one for Ibe in an unfamiliar left-sided wing back role. He was probably the worst Liverpool player on the pitch and had fans wondering where it went wrong for him after yet another poor display from the kid. He offered little in attack, but seems to have come through a first period of struggle for Liverpool. Mølby was certain that Ibe required help and is now looking ahead to see how Ibe can develop.

"Looking at Jordon Ibe earlier this season, he appeared a player in need of help," Mølby observed after Liverpool's first Europa League victory of the campaign. "I've seen it happen many times before with youngsters. When Ibe burst on to the scene, he got people talking and it was clear he has talent, is strong, quick and appears mature beyond his years. But then all of a sudden he began to get lost in the games.

"Now, as the player himself said, he is a new player. Ibe needed just a few simple instructions to get him back on track, and is now having an impact whether it's from the bench as at Chelsea, or with his impressive winner at Rubin Kazan. In some ways, he has been rescued by Jürgen Klopp.

"The winger is positive in his movement now and is always pressing forward, and it's amazing the confidence you can gain from putting opponents on to the back foot. The challenge for Ibe is to consistently improve on how he did last year. After a decent pre-season, there was a real danger with his early season form that he could be a player who disappeared into the shadows over the next 18 months. Instead, Ibe is firmly heading in the right direction. And it's sometimes easy to forget he is still only 19."

Quite a few players have benefited from the arrival of a man who made history at both Mainz 05 and Borussia Dortmund. The "caged lion" Mamadou Sakho was recognised for the vocal and commanding force of nature that he really is, Alberto Moreno no longer rages on the sidelines but provides improved performances at left back, and Emre Can is finally being played in his best position after speaking on such possibilities in June. It's still early days in Klopp's reign, but Jordon Ibe may be another early feather in the Swabian's signature cap.

Step right up Dejan Lovren as Jürgen Klopp performs his next act to rival the likes of David Blaine and Dynamo.

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