There were few highlights to be found in Liverpool's unimpressive draw against Everton on the weekend, but one standout performance came from nineteen year-old Jordon Ibe, freshly returned from a loan spell at Derby County and making only his second Premier League start.
"It felt really good and I enjoyed it a lot," Ibe told Liverpool's official website after the game. "It was great that the gaffer gave me a chance to get involved in such an important game. It was great at Derby but obviously I was trying to play well to get back into the Liverpool side. So when I got told to come back it was a great achievement for me. After I finished there it was for me to kick on and keep working hard."
Liverpool failed to shore up its offense in the transfer window beyond recalling the youngster from his loan, making Ibe's immediate impact all the more important. Though he wasn't able to convert either of the two impressive shots he took, his effort that hit the post represented the culmination of work he's been doing with Brendan Rodgers since returning to Melwood.
"I went on a run and when I shot, I thought it was going in," Ibe explained. "I was getting ready to celebrate, but it hit the post and went wide. It was quite new for me. The gaffer just told me certain things; to stay as a full-back and when we had the ball, I get back in the usual position I usually play in, playing wide and high. It was OK for me. I enjoyed it - it was new and exciting to learn."
It's new and exciting for Liverpool fans to watch him play, too. A single positive display upon his return from the Championship shouldn't lull anyone into a false sense of security that Liverpool's attacking problems are solved until the summer, but it's an encouraging sign for Ibe's growth that will hopefully allow him to kick on for the remainder of the season and set him up well for greater involvement next season.
- The Week in Comments: "But can he get even adorable-er?"
- Kolo Toure Scores Penalty as Cote d'Ivoire Win AFCON
- Skrtel Highlights Continued Defensive Solidity After Another Clean Sheet
- Allen Confident of Covering in Midfield During Lucas Absence
- Liverpool Could Pay Record Fee for Striker in the Summer