Brendan Rodgers believes Jordon Ibe could not have established himself in the Liverpool first team without a hugely beneficial loan spell at Derby County.
The young winger spent the first half of the 2014-15 campaign at the iPro Stadium, where he scored five goals in 24 Championship appearances to aid the Rams' promotion chase.
Ibe's progress under the tutelage of Steve McClaren prompted Rodgers to exercise a recall clause to bring him back to Anfield in January, and he went on to feature 12 times in the Barclays Premier League before the season's end.
The Reds subsequently moved to reward the 19-year-old for his rapid development, tying him down to a new long-term deal last month.
And his manager is excited by a player who he believes only needed games to hone his evident talent.
"He just needed experience. For young players, people forget that when you're playing in youth football and reserve football, you're playing in front of not so many people," Rodgers said.
"So to have to feel the pressure of going out to perform for a group of fans, we felt that was something he needed. But it was important for him not just to go to any club, he needed to go to the right club.
"When he went to Derby with Steve McClaren, they played a great level of football. Steve is a very experienced manager who has worked at all levels.
"He developed very, very well there. He certainly came back a young man and now the opportunity and responsibility is there for him to make the next step and become a regular."
Ibe slotted seamlessly into the senior squad after returning from his loan spell, featuring at both right wing-back and further up the pitch on either flank when called upon by the manager.
Rodgers explained that the former Wycombe Wanderers academy starlet possesses 'clean' technique, a factor that no doubt helped him to fit in so quickly.
"He's technically very, very good. He's very clean with his technique, both feet and a lovely touch on the ball," he added.
"He's a player that you need to give instruction to, but not too much or you dampen all that flair and style that he has.
"For a winger, he can go the 90 minutes; he can get up and down the field, he wants to work hard with and without the ball.
"He has shown his flexibility. His best position is probably off the left side coming in, but left side or right side or at times in behind he can play very well.
"He's technically gifted, blessed with physical attributes of speed and strength naturally, and obviously over the next few years it's about strengthening up that mentality of the game, learning the game tactically and hopefully improving consistency."