Whether you think Jordon Ibe is a future international or another overhyped English youngster, recent trends suggest that Bournemouth won’t see much of a return on their £15m investment in his first season at the Vitality Stadium.
Liverpool relinquished four forwards or wingers to non-Big Six clubs on a permanent basis across the previous three summer transfer windows and none of them were unqualified hits in their debut campaign for their new employers.
West Ham signed Andy Carroll for the same sum that the Cherries spent on Ibe in 2013 and he managed only 12 Premier League starts that term, which made it very difficult for him to establish a rhythm and rendered a miserable tally of two goals almost inevitable.
Stewart Downing also moved from Anfield to the Boleyn Ground that year and was similarly unsuccessful at making his presence felt, contributing one strike and two assists in 32 top-flight appearances.
If you thought the class of 2013 weren’t too hot, just wait until we get onto the class of 2015 now, with Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert joining Sunderland and West Brom respectively after finding the path to the first team at Liverpool blocked, as Ibe experienced for much of February onwards.
Borini accumulated more Premier League bookings than goals for the Black Cats in 2015-16, with six yellows collected compared to five nets rippled in his 22 starts and four runouts as a substitute.
But the Italian’s season was lot less dispiriting than Lambert’s. Despite the suspicion that the Reds fan would be a perfect fit for a Tony Pulis team, he was selected five times from the off in the top tier, which was quite the snub given that they were the second lowest scoring side in the division.
Those paltry five starts were supplemented by 14 league outings from the bench and five cup appearances, yet he was only able to fire once across those combined 24 opportunities.
Ibe will hope for more game-time to try to help ensure that Bournemouth don’t become victims of second-season syndrome. Eddie Howe’s men are 10/3 to be relegated.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.