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29th Jan 2023

British publication urges Gareth Southgate to claim Evan Ferguson for England

Patrick McCarry

Evan Ferguson

Ireland are being urged to ‘act fast’ and give the 18-year-old a competitive debut.

Evan Ferguson has two Ireland caps to his name but, as this nation found to their cost with Declan Rice, he will not be locked into playing for this country until he has appeared in a competitive fixture.

The Brighton striker is turning plenty of heads since his run of games with the Premier League club after the World Cup. Seagulls boss Roberto di Zebri has doubled down on the faith shown in Ferguson by Graham Potter and is giving him a regular run of games. He scored once this season, in the League Cup, when Potter was in charge and has bagged three more, as well as coming up with two assists, for di Zebri.

Such is the faith the Italian has in the former Bohemians starlet that he started him in Sunday’s FA Cup encounter with Liverpool at the Amex Stadium.

The recent form of Ferguson has led to increased press attention and has led to not one but two articles by The Times about the teenager. One has urged the English FA to pursue the striker in the same manner as they did with Declan Rice and Jack Grealish.

The other article flags this heightened interest in Ferguson and offers Stephen Kenny a not-so-subtle bump towards involving the teenager against France when Ireland play the first of their Euro 2024 qualifiers, in Dublin.

Evan FergusonEvan Ferguson of Brighton & Hove Albion celebrates after scoring their team’s third goal against Forest Green Rovers. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

Evan Ferguson is Ireland’s ‘best attacking hope since Robbie Keane’

Having gotten ourselves in a collective tizzy for the likes of Aaron Connolly, Adam Idah and Troy Parrott, in recent years, the mood in Ireland about Evan Ferguson is optimistic but without shouting from any rooftops.

Stephen Kenny has awarded Ferguson caps in friendlies against Norway and Malta but, like Rice – capped three times for Ireland in 2018 – he has not featured in a competitive match.

The Times feature on Ferguson by Gary Jacob is a nice bit of background on the Bettystown native, charting his rapid rise from St Kevin’s to Bohemians and on to Brighton. The same article notes that Ferguson has an English mother and would line out for Gareth Southgate’s side. The English FA would be remiss, it notes, were they to not at least check in with the player and his representatives.

It also notes how former Ireland frontman Tony Cascarino has declared Evan Ferguson is this country’s best goalscoring hope since record goalscorer Robbie Keane carted his last wheel.

In another piece by the publication, written by Paul Rowan, the striker’s similarities with Erling Haaland are mentioned and the FAI have been encouraged to act fast by giving him some competitive minutes when France come to Dublin at the end of March. To show we are not raising the panic alarm ourselves, the article is headlined:

‘Could Evan Ferguson go the same way as Declan Rice and Jack Grealish?’

We should bloody well hope not, is our response.

Such is the form and impact of Ferguson for Brighton, in recent weeks, that any appearance against France at the Aviva Stadium would be earned on merit, rather than an effort to tie down his international future.

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