“I’m expecting more goals” – Michael Beale on Sheyi Ojo after Liverpool U21s double

on 20.02.2016


Returning from a muted spell on loan with Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier this season, Sheyi Ojo is now proving his capabilities for the Liverpool U21s.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 20, 2016: Liverpool's Sheyi Ojo celebrates scoring the second goal against Exeter City during the FA Cup 3rd Round Replay match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ojo spent the first half of the season under Kenny Jackett at Wolves, but was recalled in January as Jurgen Klopp looked to flesh out an injury-hit first team.

With the returns of Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi, Ojo has been moved back down into the Reds’ U21s ranks.

Lining up on the left flank against Middlesbrough U21s on Thursday night, Ojo netted twice to give Michael Beale‘s side a 2-1 victory — despite losing Cameron Brannagan to a harsh red card in the first half.

Speaking after the game, Beale highlighted Ojo’s performance for praise, saying “Sheyi has got a lot of potential.”

“Sheyi has really developed and is playing a much [more] mature game since he has come back from his successful loan spell in the Championship with Wolves.

“Let’s not forget he is still only 18 but he is more aware of what assets he can bring to a game and what his strengths are.

“He is also working very well at what we are asking him to do when he is out of possession, and I am really pleased with him.

“Sheyi has got a lot of potential and you always want more because that is the nature of football and we know what he is capable of.

“He also scored a fantastic goal to get us level and I’m fully expecting him to get a lot more goals between now and the end of the season.”

EXETER, ENGLAND - Friday, January 8, 2016: Liverpool's Sheyi Ojo in action against Exeter City during the FA Cup 3rd Round match at St. James Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Before firing the winner from the penalty spot, Ojo showed his quality by cutting inside from the left to fire a right-footed strike beyond Joseph Fryer to equalise on 53 minutes.

Ojo’s ability in the wide areas has been invaluable to Beale since his promotion to the U21s, and he also showed this with an incredible goal in Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Exeter City in the FA Cup in January.

Pacy, powerful and now developing his game off the ball, Ojo is set to star at Liverpool in the future.


With Klopp outlining his desire to sign more wingers this summer, the 18-year-old may find himself low on the pecking order.

But with Jordon Ibe failing to establish himself as a regular starter this season, despite Klopp’s lack of wide options, Ojo may represent a more useful talent.

Like Ibe, Ojo is built for the Premier League in terms of strength, but the former MK Dons youth has a different edge to his game.

Preferring to attack the penalty area rather than drive to the byline, Ojo could offer Klopp an interesting alternative for the rest of 2015/16.

High on confidence and showcasing his abilities on the U21s stage, Ojo may be ready for the first team.

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39 COMMENTS

  1. Ibe hasn’t taken his chances, he started off promising but his performances are getting progressively worse. Start giving them to Ojo, he can’t contribute any less/

    • Ibe is playing as well as the rest of the squad or not as the case may/seems to be. Has any player really showed consistency. Why single out Ibe? Give the chances to Ojo and you will saying the same about him before too long. These guys will perform better in a team that fires on all cylinders which is not the case at the moment. They could also benefit from a leader on the pitch. Have we one. Ojo scored in an U21 game not a Premier League match. There has to be some difference.

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      • We are visibly worse with Ibe in the team, the kid is a very limited player. Ibe is over 30 league appearances without a goal, the stats suggest he’ll never be a top player so I don’t see the point in continuing with him in the team regularly, some make it, some don’t, Ibe is just not cutting it.
        Ojo has made a claim for a role in the first team and I hope he gets it.

  2. Development is still key here for him. He is young but has the potential to start, this season I’d still hold him back slightly and give him some starts and sub apperances. Then unleash him next season.

    • i think now top 4 is out of reach so wouldnt mind bring him in as kaiser said replace ibe few games and lets see how he copes with premier league defenders

      • It might not be a bad idea, but would you play him in Ibe’s position?
        For me, any oppurtunity to bring on Benny I’d auto correct it with bringing Ojo on instead.

        • i´d auto-correct it also, but Divock it would be. the slow approach of testing Ojo is good and giving Jordon some competition to step up, streamline his dribblings and raise his awareness for his surroundings. very interesting and keen to compare.

  3. Think he should have a good pre season with the first team and tie him into a long term deal really rate this guy seams to have bulked up to reminds me of Barnes dare I say it with an eye for goal and the way he wants to take on players

  4. i think he should get ibe minutes as ice has stuttered this season. not to write him off as he is young but he has to make the leap at some point

  5. Shame he didn’t play at West Ham instead of Benteke, I’m certain he’d have buried at least 1 of those chances the donkey fluffed.

  6. If we win the COC we have European football next season, if that happens blood as many talents as possible in the league, Ojo being the first.

  7. Ibe has had plenty enough chances and done next to nothing with them. Give any opportunities to Ojo from now. He can’t be any worse, especially with his final third decision making and goal return.

    • If Ibe went back to the U21s he would probably be banging them in. He only recently turned 20. I think his problem is that he’s trying to do too much. Hopefully he will make better decisions when he can relax and just play his own game. Maybe lower supporter expectations will help.

      • In a sense I think Ibe needs to lower his expectations of his ability and I agree with you totally that he’s trying to do too much to impress when he gets his chances.
        I’d love to see him get back to the basics of a winger, just spend his time getting to byline and putting the ball across the goal for someone to attack. He’s got the skill to do it and I’m sure he’d get more joy isolating a player out wide than running at the goal and into 2 or 3 defenders.

  8. I wish everyone would stop saying he’ll do better than Ibe. We all said the same thing about Ibe in Sterling’s last 6 months, which could be most of the reason he’s underperforming.
    Ojo (& the rest) will come in when Klopp & Buvac think is best, not because of a 1st-teamer’s performance.

    • I just don’t see him being good enough. I’ve jusy not seen enough from Ibe. There are very few players, who have played so often, who have indeed done so little. I hope I stand to be corrected as I want the young lads to do well obviously.

      • – Very few players; bentekke, lallana, allen have all underperformed with more minutes.

        It’s tough for Ibe he’s underperformed BUT in an underperforming side it’s hard to shine.

        I do actually agree though, I don’t think he’s good enough. Why not try Ojo and Marko (next season)

          • Let them blossom indeed, but how long do we give them? I would respect Klopp a lot if he gave a lot of potential talent a try in the league, I mean it’s a forlorn hope now. I would give Ibe till the end of season in the league. Try and win the EL with proven players

      • If his performances I’ve seen in the youth for 2/3 years are anything to go by, you will be pleasently surprised.

  9. At this point, I’d rather put Ojo ahead of Ibe. Ibe had the whole 5 months and yet his game is disappointing. We don’t know if Ojo is better but surely at least a try? Can’t get any worse than Ibe right?

  10. I think Jordan Ibe should not be written off as of yet. Given his young age, i’d give him another 6 months next season. He seems to be low on confidence.

    The PL is the place to unleash Ojo, Texeira, Smith, Brannagan, etc I’m not saying we should field them all at once but giving them starts in a PL season destined for disappointment should give us a proper platform to assess their true abilities and this could save us a lot of cash.

  11. Ibe is 20 and currently isn’t doing enough to merit a place in the Liverpool squad, Ojo is 18 and already looks leaps and bounds ahead of Ibe’s level in my opinion. Continue with the struggling Ibe or give in form Ojo a chance in the first team? For me it’s a no brainer.

    • Ojo has a huge upside in creativity that Ibe doesn’t possess. I’d put him in the top 10 prospects in his age group.

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