Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has commented on the future of Celtic-linked winger Jordon Ibe.
Since then, Ibe has done a turn for the Cherries too. He’s played 92 times for them since he arrived almost four years ago. However, alarmingly, he’s also only scored five and assisted nine in that same period (Transfermarkt).
But speaking on his future, Howe wasn’t committal over whether he would leave or not in the summer. In comments published by the Glasgow Times, here’s what Howe had to say:
“I’d be foolish if I sat here and said ‘no, he’s played his last game’, and then he ended up playing again. never shut the door on anybody until they’ve left the club, I don’t think that’s the way to be, but certainly he’s got a long way back from here.
“I look at it as a challenge, to try and get the best out of every player under my stewardship, and certainly try and learn from every situation that I faced to try and make myself better for the next situation that occurs.
“I have no doubt about his quality and playing characteristics, but certainly there needs to be a change in Jordon’s life for him to reach the level that he can.
Difficult to read between the lines here
Howe has obviously tried to be cagey, but it’s difficult to really read what he’s trying to say here. At one point he gives the impression that his time at the club is more or less over by talking about his “long way” back. However, immediately afterwards he talks about it being a personal challenge for him to get Ibe up to speed.
Celtic may also be alarmed at Howe talking about how Ibe needs to make changes in his life to be a success. It’s interesting that he didn’t just say that he needed to tweak things in training. That could suggest that Ibe would come with some baggage, and that wouldn’t be the kind of personality we need for a 10-in-a-row season.
It’s been a pretty horrendous season for him on the pitch too. He’s only played four times for the club with two of those matches coming in the EFL Cup (Transfermarkt). He’ll need some work on his match-fitness.
With his contract up at the end of the season however, this could be one Celtic take a punt on. The Glasgow Times have reported that he’s on £40k-per-week of course. That would need to change if Ibe was to make the move up north.
He is an under-21 international with England too, but his last game for them came all the way back in March 2016. Times have changed, and Ibe needs a fresh start.
With Mohamed Elyounoussi scheduled to head back to Southampton at the end of the season, Ibe could prove to be the cover we need at left-mid. Whether we actually make the move, however, is anyone’s guess.