“Jordan Ibe will come good.” It’s a sentiment that has been uttered by many AFC Bournemouth over the course of this season, myself included. But is there any truth in it, or is it merely a statement of hope rather than fact?
The winger, who we signed from Liverpool in the summer, has not even got close to justifying his supposed fifteen million pound price tag yet. He has not scored or not provided an assist. He hasn’t even created a “big chance” for one of his teammates yet.
These stats wouldn’t bother me too much – we’ve benefited from Jack Wilshere being in the squad despite his underwhelming numbers on paper for example – but it’s how Ibe has never even looked like he has a point to prove that’s a concern.
Does Ibe lack the hunger to succeed?
His performances have lacked fight and desire. He was rightly taken out of the first eleven earlier this season to be replaced by wingers who look like they actually have a desire to impress Eddie Howe.
Sadly even this demotion to the bench hasn’t given Ibe the proverbial kick up the rear. This was demonstrated by a game against Watford back in January where he came on as a substitute but spent much of his time while on the pitch checking that his necklace – that he left on the side of the pitch after it got broken – hadn’t been nicked. And no, I have not made that up. Unfortunately.
Sadly I fear Ibe thinks he’ll make it at the top level regardless of the effort he puts in. He seems surrounded by people who will praise him whatever he does, and is clearly happy with the many privileges being a Premier League footballer provides.
Maybe this sounds a little harsh. After all, Ibe is only twenty-one. But no. A great example of why he should not just get a free ride from our fans is when you compare him to another player we signed last year. Lewis Cook.
Money well spent?
The twenty year old who we signed from Leeds United for an alleged ten million pounds fee has been injured for much of this campaign. With the arrival of Jack Wilshere he understandably dropped down the midfield pecking order as well.
Despite this he’s been hugely impressive in the two Premier League appearances that he’s made. He’s shown ice cold composure on the ball, as well as knowing when to surge forward and exactly when to pass it to a teammate. The two teams he faced were Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur as well, and he certainly didn’t look out of place against such imposing opponents.
He looks driven and eager to prove that he can cut it at this level. I personally have high hopes for him, and believe that he could be a very adept replacement for Jack Wilshere. He could possibly become even better than the on-loan Arsenal man.
Basically, Cook has shown everything Ibe hasn’t – and Jordan has had a lot more chances to prove himself. So on his current course the winger is heading for a death defying plummet down the football league. It’s a very sad sight indeed.