Celtic missed out on a loan deal for Bournemouth’s Jordon Ibe as the deal fell through before the close of the Scottish transfer window, as per the Evening Times report.
What’s the story?
Neil Lennon had been chasing players with the Kieran Tierney money as he looked to beef up his squad. He already had signed Mohammed Elyounoussi from Southampton but missed out on signing Ibe. He had been after Ibe’s signature for a number of weeks but was unable to get the deal over the line. That will leave Lennon licking his wounds on this one and Ibe with a chance to kick-start his Bournemouth career, with his contract running out next summer. He’s made two substitute appearances in Bournemouth’s four English Premier League matches thus far.
Will Celtic regret missing out on Ibe?
Celtic have a plethora of wide options. And with the signing of Elyounoussi and the continued progression of James Forrest, It’s highly doubtful that their first 11 would be improved by signing Ibe. However, their overall squad would have been improved in terms of the quality of depth at Neil Lennon’s disposal in those wide attacking areas. Ibe would have been a massive upgrade on the likes of Jonny Hayes, Lewis Morgan and Marian Shved. Those three players don’t seem to be Celtic quality as Lennon’s use of the three has been sporadic at this point. Morgan has only started four games so far, Hayes hasn’t started any and come on as a sub twice, scoring one goal against Rangers and Shved is the same is Hayes with zero starts. And Ibe will have added an extra dimension to the squad that those three players don’t currently offer Celtic.
When the winter comes along and the pitches are heavy, and when Lennon needs to replace quality with quality to keep the team fresh, while he may not regret the non-signing at the moment, further down the line, I think he will and if things stay the same, with Ibe’s limited game time at Bournemouth, it would come as no surprise if Lennon and Celtic revisited this deal in January.