Rangers supporters in the Transfer Tavern have been in high spirits in recent times after seeing their side take a big step towards the Europa League group stages courtesy of a 1-0 win over Ufa in the first leg of their play-off on Thursday.
Steven Gerrard’s men got the better of Shkupi, NK Osijek, and Maribor in preceding qualifying rounds to earn their place in the play-off, with Russian side Ufa standing in their way of a place in the group stages of Europe’s secondary competition. And they are halfway there as a Connor Goldson goal was enough to seal a narrow win for the Light Blues at Ibrox on Thursday, thus giving Gerrard’s side something to defend when they travel for the away leg next week.
As such, there have been many delighted Gers fans up and down the country in recent times, although some feel that Gerrard will need to replace the injured Jamie Murphy, who has been ruled out of action for the rest of the season.
And one man who could give Gerrard his ideal replacement for the Scotland international is Bournemouth winger Jordon Ibe, valued at £8.1 million by Transfermarkt.
Ultimately, the Scottish giants are likely to miss the influence of 28-year-old Murphy given he scored five goals and laid on ten assists while on loan at the club last season, before adding another goal and three assists to his Rangers tally in the early stages of this term.
Thus, the winger looked set to play a key part in whatever success Gerrard’s side were going to have this term, which is why the Rangers boss simply must seek to bring someone in to compensate for Murphy’s injury – Ibe could be the man.
The 22-year-old made the move to Bournemouth back in 2016 after a four-year stint at Liverpool, yet things haven’t quite worked out for the winger since his move down south, with just two goals and eight assists to show for his endeavours.
And having failed to feature in either of the Cherries’ opening two Premier League games this term, despite the injury to fellow wide-men Junior Stanislas, one wonders whether the former England Under-21 international is indeed part of Eddie Howe’s regular first team plans this term.
Yet Gerrard will be well aware of Ibe’s ability having been at Liverpool in the early stages of the 22-year-old’s career – ultimately, there’s a reason Bournemouth paid a club record at the time £15 million for the winger.
The Englishman is very good with the ball at his feet and is willing to take defenders on using his pace and flair, and while he hasn’t turned that ability into direct contributions regularly enough in recent times, the talent is certainly there for that to happen.
And the chance of regular football under a Liverpool legend in Gerrard could be exactly what the 22-year-old needs to finally produce the goods on a consistent basis, at the same helping the Gers meet their ambitions this season.
Thus, with Murphy out for the season due to injury, Gerrard must seek to replace him, and Bournemouth’s Ibe could be the man for the job.
Rangers fans… what do you think? Let us know!