Mark Lawrenson has praised Liverpool youngster Jordon Ibe, suggesting that he may be a greater talent than the recently departed Raheem Sterling in his column for the ​Liverpool Echo


The main focus of his praise came for Ibe's ability to cut inside off the flank, saying that it added another dimension to his play which makes him more difficult to defend against - calling that ability "massive". 


Lawrenson said: "​Jordon Ibe’s impressive form this summer has prompted some fans to suggest Liverpool should be happy in selling Raheem Sterling because Ibe is a better player.


"Sadly, such matters don’t work like that. But I do feel as though Ibe has the greater ability. He has the capacity to beat a man in a short space which, for me, Sterling was unable to do on a regular basis.


"Sterling didn’t have a ‘trick’ whereas Ibe has a few, most notably his ability to cut inside off the flank. As a winger, that quality can’t be overstated enough. It’s massive.


"Young players who grow up as wingers generally learn how to take players on down the outside and get to the byline. The ability to also beat a man coming inside and play a pass or shot is more difficult."


Ibe scored a scorching goal in the team's final pre-season game against a Malaysia XI in Kuala Lumpur to secure a draw for the Reds in a match they were expected to win comfortably. 


"Simply remember the way he announced himself last season in the Goodison derby by cutting inside off the right wing and then smashing a blistering shot against the woodwork.


"Look, I’m not saying he’s the new John Barnes. Far from it. But I can see a sameness in terms of their physicality. And if he ends up being half the player, then Liverpool will have a real success on their hands.


"You have to think Ibe’s going to start the season. And that puts the onus on him to help provide service for Christian Benteke, who is also likely to be first choice."


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