With money tied up in more pertinent issues, West Ham need to be in on soon-to-be former Bournemouth attacker to save cash and bolster bench options.
We know a few things about David Moyes and West Ham’s intent this summer. If there are going to be players brought in, they’ll be younger, they will predominantly be English, Scottish, Irish, or Welsh, and unless they are a defender or striker, they’ll need to be cheap.
Enter Jordon Ibe, one of two wide attacking players Bournemouth are going to lose this summer. For Ibe, he never reached his potential and soured Cherries supporters due to his lofty price tag at £15m. However, he received so much attention at Liverpool for good reason; the player has a ton of skill and potential but off-pitch issues have stunted his development in the Premier League.
With drink driving and now lockdown breaking activity, Ibe has burned his last bridge at Bournemouth as the club confirm his contract will not be renewed at the end of June. Now in rehab, should West Ham take a punt on a big character with equal amounts of character?
Ibe checks all the boxes mentioned above: he’s 24, he’s English, and he’s free come the end of next month. Contractually, Ibe could be enticed to sign a low base-wage with appearance and performance bonuses making up the majority of his salary in order to have a final stab at the Premier League and stave off the Scottish Prem or Championship.
More from Green Street Hammers - West Ham
For the Hammers, one of the biggest bonuses to a one-year deal for Ibe would be the time it buys for Nathan Holland. The promising winger needs to play in the Championship next season with regular minutes guaranteed.
Money will be tight for a lot of Championship clubs next season which could see loan options as extremely valuable assets to mitigate the loss of high-value players with little to no overhead as the league rebounds financially. Holland won’t like the option, but Moyes and the board need to see him play regularly and stay injury-free before committing to him.
What Ibe brings to the table skill-wise is creativity, free-roaming capabilities, the ability to shoot from range, and some solid setpiece skills. He has only played two Premier League matches this season, so we can’t assess his form but the potential seems to outweigh any negatives, with his short contract able to be terminated at any point.
Lastly, the Bundesliga has introduced five potential substitutes per game as a way to protect players from fatigue and overexposure due to Coronavirus and a compacted end to the season. If this trend continues until a vaccine is available, Ibe could be a valuable bench option as a winger, CAM, or striker option.
There is no downside to Ibe joining the Hammers if it’s on the right terms. A short contract that sees his wages largely dependent on performance and availability could motivate the former Liverpool starlet to get his mind straight and invest in himself.