This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
A Christmas tradition has developed in the Premier League over the last few years, with this being the fourth successive December in which Liverpool travel to Bournemouth.
The Reds make the trip to the Vitality Stadium on Saturday, almost a year to the day since their previous visit.
On the bench that day for Bournemouth was Jordon Ibe, who was left with a watching brief as his former club cruised to a 4-0 victory. [via TransferMarkt]
On the day that Liverpool stalwart Jamie Carragher made the last of his 737 appearances for the Reds, Ibe was making his first-team debut in a 1-0 win over QPR as the 2012/13 Premier League season came to a finish. [via Daily Mail]
Loan spells at Birmingham and Derby followed before the winger was recalled by his parent club in January 2015, shortly before he was the width of a post away from scoring a Merseyside derby winner at Goodison Park, as per The Independent.
He signed a new five-year deal with the Reds at the end of that season and appeared to have a promising future at Anfield, especially after scoring his first goal for the club in a 1-0 win away to Rubin Kazan in the Europa League in Jurgen Klopp’s first month as Liverpool manager.
However, after making just 12 Premier League starts in the 2015/16 campaign, he was still finding it difficult to nail down a regular spot in the Reds’ first XI. He scored four goals that season but was still considered disposable enough to be sold to Bournemouth for £15m in July 2016, with the Cherries breaking their transfer record to sign him (as per BBC).
That seemed quite a good fee to attract for a winger who had scored just four times in 58 appearances for Liverpool and, only a few months after his move to the south coast, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe told The Mirror that Ibe needed to perform with greater consistency.
He was again called out by his manager over his wayward form after the Cherries were dumped out of the FA Cup at home to Millwall as Howe named a much-changed team (as per The Guardian) and Ibe did not find the net or even set up a goal in 26 appearances in his first season for Bournemouth.
The winger was more effective during 2017/18, with two goals and eight assists in 38 games, but that return was still a paltry one compared to the 44 goals that fellow right winger Mohamed Salah registered at Liverpool that campaign, his first at Anfield.
Howe appears to be running out of patience with Ibe in recent months, judging by his sporadic involvement for the Cherries. He only made nine Premier League starts last season and managed just one goal and one assist in 24 appearances during 2018/19.
The current campaign has been a disaster for the 23-year-old, with a mere 227 minutes of football and four appearances in all competitions. [via TransferMarkt]
He has set up nine goals in 92 games for the Cherries since leaving Liverpool in 2016. In that time, the Reds’ full-back duo of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson have provided 49 assists between them for Liverpool.
With the former coming through the club’s Academy and the latter costing just £10m (as per BBC), they have essentially made a 50% profit on selling a £15m winger with just nine assists in more than three years for two defenders who have set up a combined 49 goals (Alexander-Arnold 26, Robertson 23).
In that context, securing £15m for a young, largely unproven attacking player in 2016 with comparatively meagre end product has been a masterstroke from Liverpool.
Liverpool fans, do you think the club did well to recoup £15m for Ibe back in 2016? Comment below with your views!
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