Jamie Carragher and Thierry Henry praised an “amazing performance” from Jordon Ibe after he helped Liverpool win 2-0 at top-four rivals Southampton.
Since returning to Anfield from a loan spell with Derby in January, the 19-year-old has established himself as a first-team regular under Brendan Rodgers.
It wasn’t the step overs and nutmegs but he showed maturity in a game like that at an early age, it’s his maturity to understand the game
He was again deployed as a right wing-back against Southampton and helped the Reds keep their fifth successive clean sheet away from home in the Premier League.
“It was an amazing performance,” Henry said on Super Sunday. “It wasn’t the step overs and nutmegs but he showed maturity in a game like that at an early age, it’s his maturity to understand the game.
“The way he was tucking in to show he can cover his back three and the midfielders, he never gave up, he worked hard for his team-mates and that’s how you gain the respect of team-mates. That is why he is playing for Liverpool.”
Former Liverpool defender Carragher was also full of praise for Ibe, who has spent most of his young career in a more attacking role.
“His understanding of the game for such a young player is brilliant to see,” said Carragher. “The players Liverpool have brought in have shown promise but a big thing for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool’s academy is bringing young players through and it looks like Liverpool have another one with Ibe.”
The win is Liverpool's fourth in a row in all competitions and moved them up to sixth in the Premier League table.
It also extends their unbeaten run which has seen them not lose since the defeat to Manchester United in mid-December.
“If Liverpol get in the top four from where they were in December it would be an unbelievable achievement for those set of players,” he said.
“There is no doubt when you work with Brendan Rodgers, the type of manager he is, his teams always improve and get better as the season goes on. If it continues they will get in the top four.
“They beat Spurs, have beaten Southampton, have Man City next week, and they have to go to the Emirates and host Manchester United. It’s in Liverpool’s hands.
"The form they are in at the moment and the run they are on, you think if they get points in those games they will be in there.”