Howe: Ibe can be a real difference-maker at this level
AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has backed winger Jordon Ibe to enjoy a much more productive season in 2017/18.
The former England Under 21's international has criticised his debut season with the Cherries, claiming that he needed to 'buck up his ideas'.
Ibe made the move to the south coast from Liverpool ahead of the 2016/17 Premier League campaign.
The Cherries broke their then record transfer fee to land Ibe in a deal reported to be around the £13-15million mark.
After initially beginning the season in AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe's starting XI, Ibe drifted down the pecking order at Dean Court.
Ibe ended the season with 25 Premier League appearances with 12 starts, totalling 1,059 minutes of top flight football.
He created no goals or assists.
Speaking ahead of the season opener at West Bromwich Albion, Howe told the Daily Echo...
"He has spoken how he feels but, from my perspective, he is a young player with so much potential.
"He really could be a real difference-maker at this level. I think it`s up to us as coaches to support him, to help him and guide him through these early stages of his career so he reaches his full potential in the future.
"My wish for him this season is that he follows through with the potential he has shown and delivers on the biggest stage.
'Gradel v Ibe: first half report against Napoli
Gradel: Desperate to be involved. Chasing around all over the place. Always available, always wants the ball and saw quite a lot of it. However, when he gets it he seems unable to release it unless he's beaten at least one man and as a result lost it more often than not. Also committed one nailed on yellow card challenge in a competitive match.
Ibe: Only involved in flashes here and there but actually seemed to use the ball quite intelligently. Was happy to pass if that was the better option than taking on his man but also not afraid to dribble. One golden opportunity where he tried to square to King that could have been better placed but, when involved, has looked pretty effective. What I haven't been able to pick up as well is his movement when we don't have the ball, tracking back to tackle and so forth. Maybe he's not being as demonstrative as Gradel so isn't standing out.
All we need is some kind of sci-fi melding machine we'll have a world beater on our hands! Or a L2 player. - Join the conversation here.
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