Evan Ferguson put on a show as Brighton got back to winning ways at the weekend. The 18-year-old forward played a pivotal role in the Seagulls putting Newcastle United to the sword as he netted his first Premier League hat-trick.

His showing against the Magpies earned him a WhoScored rating of 9.96. Even if you overlook the fantastic treble, his performance was just as impressive. Ferguson landed all four of his efforts on target, found a teammate with 94.4% of his passes, completed both of his dribbles and won his sole aerial duel.

Manager Roberto De Zerbi praised his No. 28 afterwards, saying: “I’m happy for him [Ferguson] today, not just for the goals. Pleased for his performance, especially in the first half. He found the right positions. Newcastle defended 4-4-1, and there was space for him. He understood where the space was. He is working to complete his qualities.

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“He can become big, big, big. His qualities are enough to become a great player. He can become one of the best, the top scorer in Europe. He was born in 2004, he’s 18. I don’t know how many players are young, that score like him.”

It was a mature performance from a player who has yet to start 15 Premier League matches. His goals were that of an experienced marksman too rather than someone still finding their feet in the English top-flight.
His first was a well-taken finish from close range after he reacted quickest to take full advantage of a Nick Pope error. The Newcastle shotstopper failed to deal with a venomous Billy Gilmour effort and the ball dropped inside the penalty area. It looked fairly easy but other players would’ve smashed the ball straight at Pope in this scenario. Ferguson, however, smashed it into the goal.


He doubled his tally in the second half with a stunning curling effort from 25 yards out that seemed to catch Pope off guard and flat-footed. The former Burnley man won’t want to watch that one back but it highlights Ferguson’s intelligence to spot this opportunity. He had space to carry the ball into but he seemingly noticed the goalkeeper’s positioning and he took full advantage.


The 18-year-old’s final goal had a huge slice of luck. His left-footed attempt was heading towards the far corner but took a huge deflection and completely wrong-footed Pope as it bounced into the other side of the net. His performance deserved that bit of luck though.


Ferguson now has 10 Premier League goals to his name and two assists in just 1,158 minutes. He’s been quite the revelation since breaking into the first-team under De Zerbi and it is no wonder he’s reportedly being pursued by a number of Premier League clubs.


Tottenham Hotspur were linked with him following the sale of Harry Kane as they looked for a new talisman in attack. Manchester United have perpetually been linked with him over recent months as they search for a centre-forward to spearhead Erik Ten Hag’s project. Rasmus Hojlund is seemingly not enough.

Ferguson commits to Brighton with new five-year deal



Chelsea, as expected, have been tentatively linked. Ferguson had trials at Stamford Bridge as a youngster and the Blues are still in the market for a No. 9 despite their excessive spending over the past 12 months. Arsenal were also rumoured to be in the running for the Republic of Ireland international. Liverpool wanted him as a youngster and he was even offered a deal at Anfield, but Ferguson opted for Brighton.


When asked about this in an interview with The Athletic, he said: “I went to Liverpool a few times. It’s a good club, but you see so many boys at Liverpool just fading away and there’s no chance to get in the first team. I was thinking, ‘Do I just want to play two years of Under-18s and then go to the U23s and go from there to where?’”


The Reds are stacked in attack right now but whenever the time does come for Brighton to cash in on the young forward, Jurgen Klopp might want his team to be involved in any conversations. The German manager has a thing for powerhouse forwards and there’s a lot of potential for Ferguson to develop into one of the best in the world.


Ferguson is already proving himself to be an elite talent. During the game against Everton last season, he became the youngster player in the Premier League since Michael Owen in 1997 to score and assist in the same game. The 6ft 2in striker has the ability to break so many records. It is going to be fascinating to see how he matures over the season under De Zerbi.

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