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Jordon Ibe Could Head to Derby County on Loan

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Jordon Ibe is one of Liverpool's hottest prospects and could be heading to Derby on loan. Or Bolton Wanderers.

Paul Thomas

All the talk of Mario Balotelli's impending transfer to Liverpool has an understandable effect of overshadowing the remaining business to be done in the transfer window. If Balotelli joins Liverpool, he will be the ninth signing of the summer transfer window and would virtually wrap up Liverpool's incoming business bar a potential move for a goalkeeper. Liverpool still have a few players who could leave the club permanently or on loan before the beginning of September and Jordan Ibe is one of a clutch of players who will most likely leave.

Jordon Ibe appeared in the matchday squad for Liverpool's opening competitive match of the season against Southampton but never made it off the bench. With a number of Liverpool players not making the bench, it shows how highly Ibe is regarded by Brendan Rodgers. There's clearly a future for the youngster but he may be best served by spending a season on loan at a club where he can develop his game, be coached well, and get competitive minutes for the entirety of a season.

Bolton Wanderers were believed to had won the race for Jordon Ibe's temporary service but no further news broke from reports earlier in the week. Bolton manager Dougie Freedman was believed to have been patient in his move for the player and it seems to be a matter of time before Ibe joined Bolton. However, more recent news of Derby interest would be far more pleasing for those wishing to see Ibe develop at the right club. Derby County has earned an excellent reputation for handling young players and Steve McClaren holds an esteemed reputation as a coach.

Bolton was seen as a finishing school three to four years ago after Jack Wilshere and Daniel Sturridge experienced successful loan spells at the club under former manager Owen Coyle when the side was in the Premier League. Looking at Bolton's squad, they could struggle in the Championship to manage a midtable finish and perhaps Ibe would be better served at one of the better clubs in the Championship, one expected to dominate games.

Derby play with some style and are one of the favourites for promotion, so would a chance to link up with Will Hughes under McClaren be the preferable option? Andre Wisdom thrived on loan there and Derby narrowly missed out on promotion to the English Premier League in the play-off final against QPR. Liverpool are believed to have a good relationship with Derby, and Steve McClaren appears to be following the movements of Jordon Ibe in the transfer window. The Burton Mail reported McClaren's interest in the player but it appears that the former England manager is not giving much away about any potential move for Ibe.

I thought he was going to Bolton, I think I read. This is normal in football, rumours fly around. He is someone who has always been on the radar, but I think he is on the radar of a lot of clubs. Wherever he goes someone will get a very good player. He is the type of player I suppose we have to be in the market for, but I have heard a lot of clubs are interested in him. I think Liverpool are holding onto him to as near to the close of the transfer window as possible. He is someone we keep an eye on.

Jordon Ibe's speed, technique, power, dribbling ability, and directness could make him an excellent addition for any Championship side. He's one of the young players that Liverpool fans want to see and showed his talents in preseason for Liverpool along with a need to improve his finishing. That he is just 18 makes any performances against the likes of AC Milan even more exciting irrespective of the friendly status of the match. He could stick around for sub and cup minutes, but a season in the East Midlands with a Rams side intent on securing promotion could be exactly what this precocious talent needs.

*UPDATE: Dougie Freedman has confirmed in Friday's pre-match press conference for Bolton's trip to Brighton that while he remains interested in the services of Jordon Ibe, a deal is unlikely to happen: "There are a few other clubs interested in Jordon now. It seems like we'll probably get pipped at the post. We've tried to get the loan done going back to last season. We've made another enquiry."