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John Smith writes a detailed Scout Report about the Bournemouth’s new signing, up-and-coming young winger, Jordon Ibe.
This summer, Jordon Ibe has departed life at Anfield for new pastures at Vitality Stadium with new club Bournemouth. Although a loved player at his former club, both parties involved in the deal met a fair match as a £15 million fee allowed for Ibe to join the Cherries. Under brand new manager Eddie Howe, Ibe will definitely become a mainstay within the team as they fight to remain in the Premier League, and potentially pose a trophy threat in regards to the FA and EFL Cups. What appears to be certain is the fact that Jordon Ibe has a great future ahead of him, with new club Bournemouth giving him the opportunity to express his talent.
Born and raised in Bermondsey, London – Jordon Ibe enjoyed a childhood as an average kid in London with football playing a big part of his life. Although a Chelsea fan for a small part of his childhood, his father was rather influential in making Ibe fall in love with his team of Liverpool. Teaching him about the days of Fowler, Barnes, Rush, and Aldridge along with allowing him to stay up late to watch the 2005 Champions League final despite having school the next day, Jordon Ibe found a new love for Liverpool thanks to his father.
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Originally, Ibe started his journey to become a professional footballer in 2003 when he signed a contract with Charlton Athletic at the age of 8. Unfortunately, time at Charlton wasn’t necessarily positive for the winger, as he was released from the club four years later. Following his release, he did not attract much interest but was still able to secure a contract with Wycombe Wanderers at the age of twelve. Throughout his time in the academy of Wycombe, Ibe was successfully able to adapt and improve as a player and earned himself a professional contract with the club several years later.
On the 9th August 2011, Jordon Ibe made his professional debut for Wycombe Wanderers against Colchester United in the League Cup coming on as an extra-time substitute. Later in the year, Ibe came on as a 90th minute substitute against Hartlepool United at the age of 15 years and 311 days to become the youngest ever player to play for Wycombe in the English Football League. Weeks later, Ibe scored his first ever goal at a professional level versus Sheffield Wednesday to also become the youngest goalscorer to play for Wycombe Wanderers in the English Football League. In total, the winger made 11 appearances, scoring once, for his club.
After a brief spell in the first team with Wycombe, Liverpool confirmed the signing of the youngster for an undisclosed fee. Although playing first team football at his previous club, Liverpool moved the winger to their academy for the remainder of the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons. Despite this, Ibe was able to earn a spot in the first team, named as an unused substitute against Southampton and also made his debut for the club on the final day of the season against Queen Park Rangers, assisting Coutinho for the only goal in the match.
Following the end of the 2012/13 season, Jordon Ibe earned himself a call up to the first team and remained there until his departure from the club. Nevertheless, Ibe was sent out on loan to Birmingham City in 2014 and Derby County for the 2014/15 season to enhance his development. During these loan spells, Ibe made a total of 35 appearances altogether whilst scoring 6 goals in the process.
Jordon Ibe’s style is rather interesting considering his versatility as a player. Although being significantly more dominant on the right flank, Ibe also has the confidence to switch wings in the attempt of delivering similar, or even better, results on the pitch. This is certainly a positive not only for him, but for his new manager – Eddie Howe – considering the fact that it opens up new options in regards to how to play Ibe to deliver the best performance possible.
In regards to his strengths as a player, it’s obvious that Ibe has many which helps fulfill the £15 million sum that was paid for him. Although expensive to some, the price also seems fairly reasonable considering the fact that the Englishman holds a variety of different attributes which allows him to succeed when playing on either flank. His bursts of energy combined with his flair and dribbling ability will support any attack the Cherries will look to produce whilst proving to be a significant threat for the opposition’s defenders as they look to intercept the attack. This was evident during his final season at Liverpool taking into account his 63% successful take-on rate.
Although having many attributes you would find in a typical winger, Ibe’s passing ability has gone under the radar whilst at Liverpool. As Liverpool and Bournemouth both play a style in which passing and maintaining possession is important, the winger’s 85% pass accuracy is definitely beneficial in maintaining the expectations of either side on the pitch. To put this into perspective, Ibe achieved a superior pass accuracy rate in comparison to more experienced players including: Alexis Sanchez (80%); Anthony Martial (77%) and also Jesus Navas (84%).
While having a variety of different strengths, Ibe still has a lot to improve on in order to become a better player overall. One of his biggest disadvantages as a player certainly be his lack of defensive contribution. Although posing a threat in attack, it’s rare to see Ibe track back and support his teammates as they defend against the opposition. Whilst it isn’t a crucial weakness for the player to overcome, it would still be useful to improve on his defensive contribution to support his team overall – keeping threats to a minimum and also potentially intercepting the opponent’s attack to start a fresh counter for the Cherries.
Outside of his defensive contribution, Ibe also lacks physically which is certainly a weakness when playing in a league as physical as the Premier League. Last season at Liverpool, he completed a disappointing 25% aerial duels and only completed 41% of his tackles across the season. Albeit having many attributes which benefit him as a winger, his overall strength and duel percentage won is certainly not looking good. To become a greater threat for Bournemouth – and potentially even England in the future – it will be important for him to become more stronger since it will be a significant asset for him when taking on opposing players.
Now at his new club and playing for a brand new manager, Jordon Ibe will definitely receive the game time he longed for at Anfield and will be given the opportunity to prove just how wrong Liverpool were to let him go. The future looks much better now for Ibe as he looks to make a significant impact on English football.
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