Reports emerged that Liverpool accepted a £15m bid from Bournemouth for Jordon Ibe and gave the winger permission to talk to Eddie Howe’s side.
The news was met with majority feeling fairly content with the turn of the events, which comes as a significant shift from where things were at one year back.
Ibe was recalled from loan at Derby County back in the winter of Liverpool’s disappointing 2014/2015 season and did significantly well after breaking out under Brendan Rodgers. Much was naturally expected from the youngster for the next season. Fans thought they already had Raheem Sterling’s natural replacement within their ranks.
However, things didn’t pan out as well as they were expected to for the youngster and he didn’t live up to the expectations that were set for him. He had some good moments, but overall, his season was disappointing
There are talks of a buy-back clause but it seems unlikely for a 15m marquee signing for Bournemouth. The likelihood of Liverpool putting a clause for sharing some part of future transfer fee seems more probable.
Irrespective of any clauses, the deal makes sense for all parties concerned by the looks of it and Jordon Ibe should say yes to the move.
The minority of fans who feel he shouldn’t be sold think so because he is only 20. The point is Ibe is at the age where his game is developing and he needs to regularly play for that to happen. He will have at least three players ahead of him in the right winger role and will not get enough chances, especially with Liverpool not playing in Europe. At Bournemouth, he will get far more chances and the fact that the Cherries are willing to shed a significant sum on the player shows they are not going to use him sparingly. Ibe will sooner rather than later be a regular part of the starting line-up.
As far as Bournemouth are concerned, the deal makes sense for the same reason. Ibe is a massively talented 20-year-old and while he did regress last season for one reason or another, he has shown in his small career that he has the potential to be a top player. Even if he doesn’t reach the level Liverpool fans initially thought that he would, Ibe could still be an important and good enough player for the side whose main ambition will be staying up in the top flight. He might have shown that he isn’t good enough for a top 4 side, but he definitely looks like a player who could be important for a mid-table unit.
For Liverpool, this is a good deal too even though it carries some risk. The 20-year-old has made 58 appearances for Liverpool since his arrival from Wycombe Wanderers in the summer of 2011. While he sparkled after being recalled from loan back in 2015 — also earning a lucrative new five-year contract last summer — he deteriorated last season and didn’t look like a player Klopp should keep in mind for long term plans. The risk here is that Ibe develops into (who fans thought could be) the “better Raheem Sterling”. In that case, Liverpool have their embarrassment limited by the reported buy-back or sell-on clauses that are going to be put in the contract.
In any case, the risk of a player doing incredibly well for another side is there with every transfer. Ibe might have been worth sticking with for one more year but the sum Bournemouth are offering is very good for a player who scored 3 goals and got 2 assists in 35 appearances (in all competitions) last season.
At the moment, the deal seems to make sense on every front. It is now up to Ibe to accept Bournemouth’s offer and negotiate his contract. The player should go ahead and accept the offer because at his age, game-time is more important than prestige of the club.