Scottish Premiership champions Celtic reportedly want to sign Jordon Ibe when his contract at Premier League outfit Bournemouth expires.
If Brendan Rodgers had not turned his back on Celtic some 12 months ago, walking away from a potential treble-treble in order to take over at Leicester City instead, Jordon Ibe would surely be packing his bags for Parkhead already.
The London-born winger may be 24 these days but he produced arguably the best performances of his young career when he was still a budding teenager with pace to burn and the world at his feet, forcing his way into Liverpool’s starting XI long before he reached adulthood.
Yes, that ragtag team of the latter days of Rodgers’ reign is a far cry from the Premier League champions-in-waiting who have steamrollered almost all before them under Jurgen Klopp, but that does not mean Ibe had it easy at Anfield.
It was his work on the training pitch which won over a coach famed for his ability to help young players realise their potential.
“Young Jordon Ibe will come back in and I’ve got to say he’s looked absolutely sensational in training,” Rodgers told the Independent back in 2015. “He’s looked absolutely outstanding. He’s got real natural fitness.
“I’ve just been waiting to put Jordon in,” Rodgers added to the BBC after a 19-year-old Ibe’s Man of the Match display against Everton. “I had no qualms about putting him in, it was a brilliant performance.”
While one Raheem Sterling went from strength to strength under Rodgers before establishing himself among the world’s elite at Manchester City, Ibe’s career has gone in the opposite direction.
A man who set Bournemouth back a then-club record £15 million fee is set to be released this summer with Celtic, according to The Sun, interested in offering this soon-to-be free agent a fresh start north of the border.
Though Neil Lennon’s high-intensity approach, revolving around speed, skill and individual quality from out wide, might just suit Ibe down to the ground. It is no coincidence that wingers like Moi Elyounoussi, Mikey Johnstone and James Forrest have stepped up in style under the Northern Irishman this season.
Though Celtic could do a lot worse than to reach out to their former boss in order to build up a picture about a player who promised so much but delivered so very little.