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Jordon Ibe could be offered a fresh start at Middlesbrough once his contract at Bournemouth comes to an end on July 1, according to the Sun (22 May, page 56).

The question on the lips of Boro fans everywhere then, is Ibe really worth taking a punt on after the season from hell?

A one-time Liverpool starlet who was the toast of Anfield not so long ago set Bournemouth back a club-record £15 million. But it is fair to say he didn’t often justify such a hefty price-tag, or that £40,000-a-week wage, on the South Coast.

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Ibe has not featured in a Premier League game since August and, perhaps even more damningly, has featured in Eddie Howe’s matchday squad just once since then – a run of 23 games.

According to Sky Sports, Bournemouth have now decided to release the 24-year-old in five weeks; even if the 2019/20 season is still ongoing.

Photo by AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images

Middlesbrough are interested in offering Ibe the chance to rebuild his reputation, and dropping down to the second tier could be exactly what this powerful winger needs. Furthermore, Boro boss Jonathan Woodgate, for all his faults, has shown a tendency to get the best out of promising youngsters with Ashley Fletcher, Dael Fry, Ainsley Pears and Hayden Coulson shining during a difficult season on Riverside.

Ibe turned his nose up at a move to Middlesbrough a year ago, according to the Daily Echo, but surely he would be less reluctant this time around. The phrase ‘beggars can’t be choosers’ comes to mind.

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In other news, Bielsa names two Leeds players he thinks are ready for the Premier League now