Liverpool winger Jordon Ibe is using the success story of team-mate Raheem Sterling as motivation ahead of the new campaign.
Sterling starred for Liverpool in the second half of last season, finishing the term with nine goals in 33 Premier League appearances as the Anfield club finished runners-up behind Manchester City.
Like Ibe is now, Sterling started last term at the age of 18 but Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has shown he is not afraid to give youth the chance to shine if they are good enough.
Ibe got a taste of first-team action with a loan stint at Championship outfit Birmingham City.
And the England Under-19 international is hoping to kick on this season and follow in Sterling’s footsteps.
“He’s only a year older than me so I need to follow in his footsteps, and watch all of the other attacking players,” Ibe told Liverpool’s official website.
“He’s done well and scored a lot of goals.
“He’s working hard all the time in training and impressing the manager. Because he’s young, players are helping him, so hopefully they can do the same for me.”
Ibe has set his sights on more first-team action at Liverpool this season but knows the club may make several further additions to their squad after the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona for a reported £75million.
Liverpool have already signed Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Emre Can in the close-season and Ibe knows he must perform in pre-season to keep in contention.
“For me personally, I’m trying to get into the first team and hopefully get minutes,” he added.
“I’ll try to do well in pre-season first and see how it goes. I’m still quite young, I’m only 18, so I need to stay grounded, watch the senior players in my position, keep working hard and hopefully I can do well this season.
“I thought I did well in the last game [a post-season friendly against Shamrock Rovers] and other youngsters did well. It’s just about working hard in pre-season and most of all impressing in pre-season and on tour.”
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