Raheem Sterling has often been criticised for going down too easily and showing a lack of strength on the ball at times. Standing six centimetres taller and weighing in 11 kilograms heavier than Sterling, Jordon Ibe possesses all the physical attributes required to make a big impact in the Premier League. Although he is by no means a giant, Ibe’s height advantage suggests he should possess more of an aerial threat than Sterling. What’s more, Ibe is yet to miss games due to fatigue, something that Sterling has been all too prone to over the last few years. Reds fans can expect Ibe to be fitter and physically stronger than his predecessor.
Ibe bagged five goals in 13 starts for Derby County in the last campaign, albeit in second tier football. While the former Wycombe trainee is yet to find his name on the score sheet for Liverpool, he would only need to net nine goals this season to better the average tally of Sterling over the last three seasons. In his seven Premier League starts last campaign, Ibe found himself in some very good positions in the opposition box but perhaps lacked a little bit of confidence to take a shot on himself. The Anfield faithful will be hoping that with more exposure to first team football Ibe will be one of the chief contributors to Liverpool’s goal tally this time out.
Sterling was much-maligned by many Reds fans due to his seemingly selfish attitude. Undoubtedly, his long drawn out transfer to Manchester City didn’t help relations between Sterling and the Liverpool faithful but many fans will now be relieved to have a player in Ibe, who definitely wants to be there. Ibe showed in his appearances last season his hunger and desire to do well for the team and if he keeps up his willingness to work hard for the team, coupled with consistently strong performances, he is sure to endear himself to The Kop. Ibe will need to distance himself from unwanted headlines such as the ‘Shisha Gate’ story, he was embroiled in with Sterling earlier this year.
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