Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has described the deals to sell Jordon Ibe and Brad Smith to Bournemouth as ‘perfect’ after buy-back clauses were inserted.
While Ibe joined the Cherries in a £15m deal, Smith also moved south in a £6m transfer as the pair now look forward to continuing their development with Eddie Howe’s side.
Klopp identified the fact that neither would have been likely to get much playing time this season, but he evidently rates their talent as he ensured that buy-back clauses were included in the respective deals.
While he will now monitor their progress closely, he has discussed the decision to not only let them leave, but also the deals themselves.
“Things like this are usually really expensive but these aren’t,” Klopp told the ECHO. “At that age you have to play and that was the case with Brad Smith and Jordon Ibe. They had the possibility to do that (with Bournemouth) and they were deals that absolutely made sense for both sides.
“We will watch them, they will have pressure there, they will fight for the league or whatever, and we will see them growing up in pressure situations. That’s perfect.
“If a player is on loan it’s different. It’s like going on holiday. You can always go home. That’s difficult for these guys as they are always between clubs.
“Now Smith and Ibe are there and we have buy-back clauses. Hopefully they do really well and then in the end we and them will decide.”
Ibe made 43 appearances in all competitions last season, scoring four goals and providing four assists, while Smith had 10 outings with the senior side.
Both players will now see the move to Bournemouth as a chance to not only help their new club, but to also possibly send a message to Klopp and Liverpool to show that they deserve a second chance at Anfield.
Whether they successfully do so or not remains to be seen, but it’s certainly a smart move for all concerned rather than stunting their progress by leaving them on the Liverpool bench all year.