England boss warns Liverpool attacker he may never play for country again
By Coral Barry
Gareth Southgate has warned Jordan Ibe that his sending off against Switzerland on Sunday could mean he may never feature for the England under-21s again.
Ibe was given his marching orders in stoppage time after a second bookable offence in the 1-1 draw and the England Under-21s boss has said he does not want the winger to go down the same route as fellow Liverpool academy graduate,Andre Wisdom.
Right-back Wisdom was dismissed during a 1-1 draw with Finland in 2013 and never played for the under-21s again and Southgate has warned Ibe he could be next.
“Andre never played again because of competition for places,” said Southgate speaking to the Daily Mail after the game. “With any sending-off it gives opportunity for other people to play and come through.
“It wasn’t my intention at that moment in time that Andre wouldn’t play again.”
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The result against Switzerland has slightly stalled England’s pursuit of a place in the 2017 European Championships, but the Under-21s remain unbeaten in the qualifying rounds.
Ibe became just the third player to be sent off during Southgate’s three-year reign as England Under-21s boss.
Wisdom was captain of the national age-group side when he was dismissed and Southgate is worried that Ibe’s low confidence is leading the 20-year-old down the same path as his former Liverpool teammate.
“He doesn’t look full of confidence at the minute: we have got to try and help him get to the level that we think we can achieve. He doesn’t look like he is in a rhythm.
“That is disappointing for him but no reason that he can’t find it again.”
Ibe has found game time hard to come by at Liverpool this season with just eight league starts and has made most of his appearances from the bench.
Wisdom on the other hand is enduring a frustrating season on-loan at relegation-battlers Norwich with just 13 appearances in all competitions.
In other Liverpool news, the Reds are in constant contact with a German club over a striker.