Liverpool confirmed last night that youngster Jordon Ibe has been recalled from his successful loan spell at Derby.
The Liverpool youngster has progressed exceptionally, playing regularly for the Championship outfit and has five goals to his name so far this season. Playing on the left in a 4-3-3, Ibe has shown great aggression, trickery and pace to add some sharpness to the Derby attack.
Derby manager Steve McClaren has been full of praise for the young winger, claiming that he has been the catalyst to lift the crowd and make a difference when it matters.
Interesting decision to recall Jordan Ibe. Not sure where he is going to fit in really. Coutinho, Gerrard, Sterling, Lallana all competition
“We wanted to bring players here who can get the crowd on the edge of their seats when they pick the ball up. That is what Jordon has done. He has lit us up when he has played”, he said. Ibe’ powerful running and agility has often proved too much to deal with for the below par Championship full backs.
However, one area he still needs to work on is his decision making. Even at Liverpool, Ibe had been criticized for his poor decision making as the Liverpool winger tends to do too much with the ball at times. This has been further outlined by Ibe’s assist stats this season. The Liverpool youngster has just one assist so far and has often been criticized for trying to take on players where a simple pass would suffice.
— Mike (@aguyiusedtoknow) January 15, 2015
While, Ibe’ loan spell was successful overall, it is evident that the youngster has a long way to go before he can hold down a regular starting spot at Anfield. In such circumstances, the decision to recall Ibe, halfway through his loan spell looks confusing.
Manager Brendan Rodgers has been very impressed with Ibe and has claimed that he will be used at Liverpool, following a return from loan.
“If we do bring him back it will be to contribute. I’ve seen Jordon in a lot of the games and he’s been outstanding”, Rodgers said earlier this month.
If Liverpool do decide to continue with their current 3-4-2-1 setup, it would be interesting to see how Jordon Ibe can fit in, considering the fact that Liverpool are well stocked with attacking midfielders in the form of Raheem Sterling, Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho, all of whom are significantly better than the academy product.
However, Ibe could easily slot into the left wing position in place of Alberto Moreno, especially in home games, against lesser oppositions.
Further, Ibe could also break into the first team picture as a squad player, should Brendan Rodgers decide to switch to a 4-2-3-1, with Sturridge as the advanced forward. The formation uses two wide players and with just two natural wide players in the squad (Sterling & Markovic), Ibe is sure to get a considerable run out from time to time.
Whether Ibe’s recall signals a tactical change and whether the youngster will continue to develop at Liverpool, remains to be seen. Either way, it is an interesting decision that could prove to be a key one come May.