Brendan Rodgers admitted he is looking to improve Jordan Ibe's "football intelligence" and has backed the youngster to become an outstanding young player for Liverpool.
The Reds manager handed the 18-year-old a start during the Merseyside club's 4-0 victory over Shamrock Rovers in an end-of-season friendly in Dublin. Ibe impressed with two assists and was named Man of the Match for his performance on Wednesday night.
Ibe spent the final months of the season on loan at Birmingham City. The former Swansea boss has set his sights on helping the talented teenager to replicate the success of Raheem Sterling, who has been one of the star players for Liverpool this term.
"He's such a talent. He's 18 years of age, still only a second year scholar. It was interesting, I asked him to do something different here. I played him on the side in the first half, but we switched to a diamond in the second half. I wanted to see him," Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo.
"It was similar to what I have done with Raheem (Sterling). I wanted to improve his football intelligence, play him in a different position. He played at the top of the diamond and he was excellent."
"He's got running power, pace, and he has a lovely touch on the ball. He just needs to work on his finishing!"
"The most important thing for me, though, is that he gets into those positions. For a kid of that age, his composure, his touch, his speed, he has all the attributes to be a real outstanding player."
"He's already came on. He played against Arsenal this season, and we are a club that is looking for its young players to come through. But they have got to have the personality, and that's important," the Liverpool manager said.
Meanwhile, Ibe was delighted with his performance against the Rovers and has heaped praise on Rodgers for helping him improve in key areas.
"The manager has told me to try and work on my end product and get more goals. As you saw, I missed a few chances. So hopefully I can do well in pre-season with the first team," Ibe told Liverpool's official website.
"It was a great experience playing at Birmingham and in the Championship, seeing out results and seeing how it is. I was enjoying it."
"I've gained a little bit of experience, especially from the senior players at Birmingham. Hopefully, coming back here I can work on it through pre-season and become a better player," the midfielder added.