In recent years, Brighton & Hove Albion have become a football club revered for its organisation and efficient planning. Their scouting smarts have led to numerous stars in the making for eye-watering low prices. Coups like Karou Mitoma, Julio Enciso and Tariq Lamptey show this in action, though perhaps one of their greatest signings of the last few years could prove to be Evan Ferguson.
At only nineteen years of age, Ferguson has showcased a level of maturity beyond his years that has him ranked amongst the Premier League’s hottest strikers. Twelve games into this season he is already halfway from beating his ten-goal tally of last season, which he managed in twenty-five matches.Embed from Getty Images
The forward joined Brighton through their academy system from Bohemians in his native Ireland. Having made his first team debut for the Dublin club at fourteen years old, it was clear that he had exceptional potential from an early stage.
Since then he has become only the second non-English player to hit ten Premier League goal involvements by the age of eighteen, and – with his hat trick against Newcastle – the fourth player to score three goals in a game at that same age.
Ferguson’s physicality and prowess are almost more reminiscent of the classic no.9 of years gone by. He has won many plaudits, including with Premier League record goalscorer Alan Shearer.
Brighton fought competition from the likes of Liverpool to secure his signature back in the January window of 2021 and it was looking likely that they would have to fend off interest from clubs of that ilk in the coming windows.Embed from Getty Images
Now, however, Ferguson has extended his contract with the club until 2029. Despite having extended it to 2028 back in April, Brighton foresees the interest in him growing in the coming years.
Even if he doesn’t stay for the duration of the contract, this freshest of contracts provides Brighton with another variable to add to his already hefty price tag should a club bid. Transfermarkt already values him at nearly £57 million, but Brighton would likely require a much larger sum in exchange for his services.
Of course, any Brighton fan reading may wave away discussion over Ferguson leaving. Their ascent under former boss Graham Potter and current manager Roberto De Zerbi has been monumental. After achieving European football for the first team in their history last year, who knows what successes the club could have achieved by 2029? And should those successes continue, Ferguson will almost certainly have to be a part of it.
Should Ferguson move on before then, if Brighton’s recent history is anything to go by, there will be contingency plans in place. Chief executive Paul Barber has previously discussed the importance of succession planning for both players and club staff, “We are not unique in losing good people and good players at different times. … We have had but we put in place plans and succession to manage that and to be resilient to it.”Embed from Getty Images
Brighton currently sits in seventh place in the Premier League and second in Group B of the UEFA Europa League.