Why Liverpool’s new kid on the block must resist overtures
When you’re still a teenager and you’ve broken into the first team at one of the world’s biggest clubs, it’s hardly surprising that every man and his canine suddenly wants a piece of you.
Since earning man-of-the-match status in only his first Premier League start of the season, at Everton no less, 19-year-old winger Jordan Ibe has become a fixture in Liverpool’s side in the subsequent fixtures.
It’s some achievement by the Wycombe Wanderers youth, who is now flavour of the month at Anfield and given his tender years, Ibe is a name fast heading towards household status.
With his stock rising faster than a spring tide, it’s no surprise to see the Nigerian FA have declared a firm interest in Ibe’s international future.
Through his Nigerian-born father, the Super Eagles hope the Reds’ starlet can be persuaded to represent the African country over England.
However, the Bermondsey-born midfielder – who honed his trade at Charlton and Wycome before Liverpool scooped him up as a 16-year-old – will do well to hang fire on such momentous decisions.
Naturally, the English FA will be keener than the popular yellow condiment to intercept any advances and early indications suggest Ibe has all the attributes to break through for the Three Lions down the road.
Rumour has it Liverpool’s touchline-hugger is already being lined up to appear in Gareth Southgate’s next England U21 squad.
With the U21 Euro Championships on the summer schedule, it would be the perfect stage for Ibe to get a feel for international football.
If the England set-up play their cards right, it shouldn’t be too hard for the Londoner to be convinced he has a future even in lieu of the fierce competition for places.
Ibe’s next chance to impress in a red shirt comes in the return leg of Liverpool’s Europa League clash at Besiktas, where the youngster is a 15/4 shot to get on the scoresheet in Istanbul.
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