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Ibe eager to follow in Sterling's footsteps

Ibe, 18, made his senior debut for Brendan Rodgers' team on the final day of the 2012-13 season, but did not feature in the Premier League last term.

The England Under-19 international joined Birmingham City on loan in February, scoring once in 11 appearances as the Midlands outfit just about avoided relegation from the Championship.

By contrast, Sterling - who is exactly one year older than Ibe - was a key component of the Liverpool side that went so close to winning the Premier League and has been rewarded for his stunning form in the second half of the season with a place in England's FIFA World Cup squad.

Ibe was outstanding in Liverpool's end-of-season friendly win at Shamrock Rovers last week, and says he is using Sterling's rise to prominence as a source of inspiration.

"Raheem has done extremely well - he's kicked on to another level this season," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"I'm really happy for him and hopefully he can continue playing at that level with Liverpool and with England.

"He's someone I look up to, definitely. He plays in a similar position and he's a similar age. He's someone I watch in training and try to learn from the way he plays.

"I watch Raheem, Daniel Sturridge and the other attacking players in training.

"I just try to learn from them, improve myself and hopefully, if and when I get my chance in the first team, I will be ready to take it."