Introducing Generation Next – a new feature on Just Football providing even greater focus on youth football and emerging talents around the world than ever before.
We already keep a close eye on players making great strides at first team level via our Good Player Guide. But what about the young’uns? Through Generation Next, we’ll keep you informed as we scour the globe and tell you all about football’s future stars.
And who better to kick us off than two players very close to breaking through at first team level for Liverpool. Jordon Ibe has already played at senior level for Wycombe Wanderers, making his first team debut at 15 before the now 17-year-old was signed by Liverpool in December 2011.
Jerome Sinclair meanwhile has already tasted first team action for The Reds. Sinclair became Liverpool’s youngest ever player last September when Brendan Rodgers gave him his debut in the Capital One Cup against West Bromwich Albion at just 16 years and 6 days.
Both have impressed at this year’s Al Kass International Cup, an Under-18 tournament in its second season now in Qatar, which featured teams such as Real Madrid, Internazionale, Paris Saint-Germain and eventual winners Fluminense.
Jordon and Jerome were kind enough to speak to Just Football to tell us a bit about themselves, in between winding each other up of course!
JF: This is an interview with Jordon Ibe and Jerome Sinclair for Just Football. First, tell us a bit about your background and how you came to play for Liverpool.
Jerome Sinclair: I started playing football when I was seven years old at a local club in Birmingham called Phoenix United and after a year playing there I got a call from West Brom and went down there and trained and got signed there.
I was there for six years until I was 14. I started getting a little bit of interest from a few clubs and eventually ended up signing for Liverpool. I’ve been here since and it’s gone quite well so far.
Jordon Ibe: Same for me. I was playing for a Sunday league team called Welling Wanderers and from there I went on trial with different teams. I played for Chelsea and Charlton then I moved to Wycombe.
I was there for four seasons from Under-12s and I played for the first team at 16 before Liverpool signed me.
JF: What’s your preferred position?
Jordon Ibe: I can play all-round upfront. In my preferred position I like to play as a number 10, but I don’t mind where I play in the front three.
Jerome Sinclair: Definitely a number 9, that’s me.
JF: Who is your role model as a footballer?
JS: Thierry Henry. He was my hero as a young kid. Just to see him play and the things he used to do on the pitch were amazing so definitely Thierry Henry for me.
JI: For me it’s Ronaldo – the Brazilian one – and Zidane. Those two, that’s it.
JF: When you’re not playing football how do you like to unwind? Do you have any particular hobbies?
JI: I like chilling with friends, beating him (points to Sinclair) at FIFA sometimes! (laughs) Yeah that’s it just chilling and having fun.
JS: Yeah definitely, when you’re not playing football it tends to be a downtime kind of thing, you need to get your rest in. So just lowkey things: table tennis and stuff like that.
JF: Is it true that you get beaten at FIFA by this man Jordon here?
JS: No he’s definitely having a laugh there!
JI: No it’s me that gets beaten!
JF: Are you more FIFA or Pro Evolution Soccer?
JS: FIFA all day long.
JI: FIFA 13
JF: Are you on Twitter and do you use it much?
JS: Yeah I use Twitter to tweet what I’m doing and little things like that, interesting things.
JF: What’s your Twitter handle?
JF: Jordon do you use Twitter at all?
JI: Yes, @IbeJordon
JF: (To Jordon) What would you say are Jerome’s main strengths and weaknesses as a player?
JI: His main strength is scoring goals. All the time. His main weakness? I don’t think there is one you know. I’ve not seen too many weaknesses.
JF: Ahh you’re just being polite!
JI: He takes long to pass the ball! (Both laugh).
JS: I think Jordon’s main weakness is probably football. He’s not very good to be honest! No, I’m joking, I’m joking. No, definitely going at players and beating players 1 v 1, that’s his main strength. I couldn’t really pick out a weakness, he’s a top player to be honest.
JF: If you could play with any player in the world who would it be and why?
JS: Thierry Henry in his prime definitely. Obviously you’d love to play with players like Ronaldo and Messi as well so them I’d pick those two as well.
JI: Jerome Sinclair! Haha I’m joking, Messi too for me, he’s a special player.
JF: Thanks a lot for talking to Just Football and I appreciate your time.