With Raheem Sterling now plying his trade for Premier League rivals Manchester City, all eyes will be on Liverpool attacker Jordon Ibe with the 19-year old looking likely to be given the kind of run in the first team that brought his former team-mate to the fore-front of the Reds attack.
Recalled early from his successful loan spell with Championship high-fliers Derby County in January, Ibe impressed during the second half of the season, drawing comparisons to both Sterling and Anfield legend John Barnes along the way. Although most of the football during the 1-1 draw with the selected Malaysia XI was a bit dire, the Liverpool youngster made his presence known during his time on the pitch, scoring the Reds opener with a bit of ingenuity before arrowing his finish into the top-corner.
Video courtesy of @MrBoywunder
With a new long-term contract penned and a eye on a start in the starting eleven, Ibe has his priorities straight, but he’ll still face some massive competition for a staring role at Anfield. With the likes of Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic all vying for a similar spot, the 19-year old could see his opportunities limited even with Sterling now well and truly out of the picture. That being said, his performances during the Reds pre-season preparations won’t do him any harm.
“He’s been outstanding since he’s been out here and he’s staken a real claim to start the season in the team,” said Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers in his post-match press conference. “[It was a] wonderful goal, I thought he was a threat all night with his pace, his quality and it was wonderful finish cutting inside and a great strike,” he continued. “He was very good and like I say he has been working very hard.”