Reports emerged recently that Jurgen Klopp could be set to overhaul his oversized squad this summer and there will be many players anxiously waiting to hear about what their long-term status at the club will be.
You have to wonder whether the likes of Jerome Sinclair, Mario Balotelli, Lazar Markovic and Luis Alberto have futures at the club, but one name that has been linked with a move away may be a little more a surprise.
Jordon Ibe has been linked with a potential transfer of late as he grows increasingly unsettled at his lack of starting time in Klopp’s first-team. Whilst some Reds fans doubt whether he has a future at the club, it’s common knowledge that he is well liked amongst some sections of the Anfield faithful.
As rhetorical as it may appear, the 20-year-old deleted all signs of Liverpool from his social media accounts in April and has featured infrequently up until the past few weekends, when he’s been rotated in in place of rested senior players. His part in a 3-1 defeat at Swansea did little to help his first-team prospects, albeit he was more impressive at home to Watford on Sunday.
Two names that have been cited as potential locations for the winger have been Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, but as a young man needing plenty of first-team opportunities, you have to wonder whether either of these clubs would be the best option to further his development. Ibe has featured 24 times in the Premier League this season, with many of these opportunities coming from the bench, and at 20 he needs regular first-team game-time at the highest level possible.
We’ve seen the likes of Jesse Lingard at Manchester United go on and break into the first-team after taking a number of loan opportunities, whilst some players like Marcus Rashford have simply broken into the first-team with relative ease. But for Ibe, two decent spells at Birmingham City and Derby County haven’t thrown him into the first-team spotlight, so he really needs to go to a team where he can cement his place on the wing and even push for a place in the England squad.
At such a tender age he still has plenty of time, but the career of Theo Walcott will be on his mind. As a teenager, he went to Arsenal with such big expectations and you have to question what he’s actually done now we are years down the line.
If he moves to Spurs or Arsenal, will he cement his place in the side game-after-game and help them lead a push for the title? Some aren’t so sure. Perhaps going to a midtable club where he is guaranteed minutes is the best way to go for this youngster.
As England fans, we always want to see our youngsters progress, and sometimes you just have to take that leap.