Former Liverpool winger Jordon Ibe has risked incurring the wrath of his former supporters by claiming to the Mirror that the Reds are on the same level this season as his new club Bournemouth as a result of their lack of European football.
Ibe left Anfield earlier this summer to join the Cherries in a £15 million deal as the south coast club move to realise their ambitions of kicking on up the table.
The 20-year-old played 41 times in all competitions for Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers and Jurgen Klopp last term, but was still allowed to leave Merseyside in search of more regular first-team football.
Part of the Reds' willingness to sanction his departure was probably the fact that the club are not involved in European competition this term and so will need less squad rotation that last year.
Ibe has suggested to the Mirror that that lack of continental involvement means that his old club are now at the same level as his new club - who finished 16th in their first season in the top flight last term.
He said: "They had great players at Liverpool and I just felt that it was time for me to leave and crack on. It was a tough one – but I needed to think about what’s best for me, and that’s playing football.
"And when you look at it, Liverpool and Bournemouth are fighting for the same things because they are in the same competitions.
"Liverpool are not in the Europa League, so would coming here really make a difference? I would have more chances to play at Bournemouth than Liverpool, so it doesn’t really matter."
However you compare the two clubs, Ibe would certainly appear to stand a greater chance of becoming a key player for Bournemouth than he would have done for Liverpool.
Ibe will be hoping to be named in Eddie Howe's starting XI when the Cherries kick off their season with a home clash against Jose Mourinho's Manchester United.