Ibrox View: Jordon Ibe could finally realise potential with Rangers summer move
Rangers sporting director Ross Wilson has refused to drawn into naming any names when it comes to the club’s transfer targets this summer, but it’s clear that he has several irons in the fire.
The Gers have already moved to sign Ianis Hagi on a permanent deal, and you wouldn’t be surprised to see several other new faces follow him through the door in Glasgow in the coming weeks.
But the Ibrox chief has kept his cards close to his chest when it comes to the specifics of who the Gers might be after, especially in the case of one player in particular.
When asked about the possibility of signing Bournemouth winger Jordon Ibe this summer during an interview on talkSPORT, Wilson said: “I’m not going to name any names.
He added: “We’ll be working as hard as we possibly can in an ever-changing world, in a difficult world, to make Rangers as successful as we possibly can.”
Ibe is set to leave the Cherries on July 1st after struggling to impress on the south coast following a big money move from Liverpool in 2016.
So far this term he has managed just 47 minutes of Premier League action over the course of two outings.
But even though Wilson remains tightlipped, nothing has been ruled out, and it begs the question whether Ibe is somebody who the Gers should be looking at.
Surprisingly, despite his lack of opportunities at the Vitality stadium this season, his stats are pretty good.
His dribble success rate of 59.1% this season is higher than Ianis Hagi’s by 1.5%, as per Wyscout, while his pass completion rate is 7.6% higher.
Ibe also has a cross accuracy of 50% – more than double the Romanian’s.
And that natural creative ability could be a real asset for the Gers if they do decide to pursue a deal.
The image above was taken in the build up to an Ibe assist from a preseason friendly against Lazio last summer.
The winger picks the ball up just inside the opposition half, and the first thing that jumps out is just how eager he is to get his head down and run at his full-back.
Directness will always scare defenders, and if you can get a player left-back back-peddling, he is almost always going to struggle.
In this instance, Ibe is able to run his man all the way back into his own box – the area of the pitch in which he is most vulnerable.
Recognising that his marker can’t afford to dive in too rashly for fear of committing a foul and giving away a penalty, the wide man sells the defender a dip of the shoulder and challenges him to a duel for pace as he heads to the byline.
There’s only ever going to be one winner, and as he drags the defender out of position, he then shows the presence of mind and the awareness to snap a pass back inside to the vacated space, leaving his teammate with a clear shot at goal.
It may only be one assist, but the point is that good players don’t become bad players overnight, and there is clearly a top talent still in there somewhere.
Maybe with a little bit of faith, and a reunion with former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard, he could finally make good on his obvious potential.
At 24, there is still plenty of time for him to do so.
In other Rangers news, Ibrox Exclusive: Bruce calls for more consistency from Gers duo Kent and Hagi next season.