With Sadio Mané arriving and no European football on the docket for Liverpool next year, minutes may be harder to come by for some of the club’s youth and fringe players. That has led to plenty of speculation that the club could be ready to part ways with Jordon Ibe following a disappointing season.
According to the Mirror and Express, though, the 20-year-old remains in manager Jürgen Klopp’s long-term plans, and as such Liverpool have resisted efforts by West Bromwich Albion to sign him permanently. With that in mind, they believe West Brom will now adjust their plans and seek to bring Ibe in on loan.
If true, it could be well worth considering for both Liverpool and the player. Liverpool will enter into next season with Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mané, and Adam Lallana the top candidates for minutes in the support band behind the striker in Klopp’s favoured 4-2-3-1.
With injury, form, and tactical consideration, there should be enough minutes to keep all four happy rotating through the three positions. Beyond them, though, minutes could be limited—and the competition looks to be fierce. James Milner will likely see time, both in the attacking support band and in central midfield.
Coming at it from the other direction, Danny Ings is likely to get some time there, too, in addition to up top in his role as third striker behind Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi. With Ings and Milner in mind, that three-band is suddenly six players deep. And that’s without mentioning Sheyi Ojo or Lazar Markovic.
Ibe, though, for all that last season was a disappointment, remains an exceptional talent. And if Liverpool were in Europe, there just might be space for him. He needs minutes next season, though, and is unlikely to get them at Anfield. A regular place at West Brom, then, would be ideal for his development.
Especially if Liverpool aren’t ready to give up on the talented winger just yet, it seems a sensible move. With that in mind, hopefully in this case the rumour mongers have it right.