After a season which has delivered a lot less than it promised at the outset, Liverpool are reportedly ready to send winger Jordon Ibe out on loan in 2016/17 to aid the 20-year-old’s stuttering development.
Ibe’s Anfield outlook was looking very bright only 12 months ago. The young forward was tied down to a five-year contract by the Reds, but a lot can change in a very short time in football.
Last May, the former Wycomber Wanderers player had raised expectations having seized his opportunities with aplomb in the back half of the 2014/15 campaign under Brendan Rodgers.
Rodgers’ removal back in October didn’t put the kybosh on Ibe’s first-team involvement either, as new manager Jurgen Klopp retained faith in the wide-man, initially at least.
However as the season wore on Ibe’s performance levels dropped. His place in Klopp’s Premier League XI became less and less assured, with the forward only completing 90 minutes twice in the top flight in ’15/16.
According to Squawka.com Liverpool are reluctant to sell their England U21 international outright as they wish him to fulfil his potential at Anfield, though a move away is now viewed as the best solution to restore his confidence.
Rumoured switches to either north London giants Tottenham or Arsenal would be ill-advised, given the competition for places will be just as fierce as what he’s been experiencing at Liverpool.
Watford are the other club supposedly in the early running and Vicarage Road may well turn out to be a more receptive venue in accommodating regular top-flight starts.
The managerial uncertainty hanging over the Hornets is a concern though, an issue far removed from newly promoted Burnley, a club that could just be the perfect fit for Ibe.
Sean Dyche retained the vast majority of the squad that didn’t quite cut the Premier League mustard last season, to enable the Clarets to bounce back at the first time of asking.
The Turf Moor outfit will be in better shape to cope this time around but a few shrewd additions to add that extra bit of attacking threat seem crucial after they struggled to score enough goals last time.
Although Ibe hasn’t found the net regularly himself he certainly has the pace and trickery to create for others, offering Dyche an option he is perhaps lacking with his current personnel.
If he could force his way into the starting line-up at Turf Moor, then Dyche has shown he is a manager who isn’t fond of rotating too much, which should equate to plenty of minutes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.