Belfast Telegraph

Ibe hopes to take his chance

Liverpool winger Jordon Ibe hopes to seize the opportunity the acrimonious transfer of Raheem Sterling appears to have offered him.

The 19-year-old has impressed on the club's pre-season tour, which has now moved on to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and is likely to get more first-team chances after Sterling's £49million departure to Manchester City.

Ibe was recalled from a loan spell at Derby midway through last season and make an impact in most of the 14 appearances he made for Brendan Rodgers during the remainder of the campaign.

With Sterling now gone after a protracted transfer saga there is a spot to be filled and the former Wycombe player, who coincidentally shares the same birthday as Sterling but was born 12 months later, has his eyes on it.

"Football is about chances," he told

"Raheem is a great player but hopefully now I will get a chance to play and prove to the manager that I can play in the Premier League."

Although Sterling has left the club after six months of wrangling over a new contract he remains a divisive figure among fans and Mario Balotelli's tweet of support for the youngster he scored in a friendly for his new club provoked an angry response.

Folllowing criticism on social media the Italy international, who was not taken on the pre-season tour and is not part of manager Brendan Rodgers' plans, wrote: "Liverpool fans are amazing but I hope@sterling31 will play at his best because he deserves it.

"Support him like you always did. He gave everything to this club and respect (sic) it so I'm sad to see this. YNWA, Liverpool is a family ALWAYS."

A dreadful first season for Balotelli has convinced Rodgers the player has no future at Anfield and has sought to buy replacements, with one of those, Danny Ings, scoring in the 2-0 over Adelaide United.

"It was great to see Danny get his first goal," Ibe added.

"I've been chatting with him and he's been wanting to score. He's a great player and I'm happy for him.

"He makes runs in behind, he's very quick and you saw how well he played in the Premier League last season.

"With all of the new players coming in hopefully they can add a different style and bring goals to the team."

Manager Brendan Rodgers is set to introduce another variation into the team's style of play with the imminent arrival of Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke.

The Belgium international has undergone the second part of his medical in London ahead of a £32.5million deal and is set to be confirmed as the Reds' seventh signing of the summer.


From Belfast Telegraph