Evan Ferguson linked with move that would make sense, the more you think about it
The Brighton and Ireland sensation is starting to draw attention from some major Premier League clubs.
Evan Ferguson has exploded onto the scene this season at Brighton, where he's racked up four goals and three assists in just seven games.
His goal against Arsenal, in December, also cemented him as Ireland's youngest ever Premier League scorer, making the rise of the Bettystown native to the top impossible to ignore.
The 18-year-old's impressive start to his senior career has not gone unnoticed amongst Premier League clubs, and it looks like some are taking particular interest in the striker. According to The Sun, both Chelsea and Tottenham are eyeing up Ferguson for a potential move, making the upcoming summer transfer window a very interesting one.
Having just turned 18 in October, the former Boh's man has the world at his feet. However, his meteoric rise may mean he has to make some big decisions very early on in his career. Let's take a look at his three best options.
It's fair to say that Antonio Conte's men have not had the best season. Starting strong points-wise, the North London club have maintained a fairly poor level of performance, with inconsistency and slow starts to matches being their main downfalls of recent months. Even with the fire power at their disposal up front, Spurs just can't seem to make it work under Conte, and the Italian could well be on his way come the summer.
But another problem looms large in the near future for Spurs - finding Harry Kane's replacement. The issue with having a world-class striker in your team is that a backup option is very hard to come by. However, the 29-year-old star can't stick around forever, and whether he leaves Spurs or retires there, there's definitely an opportunity to take his place in the coming years.
Initially, joining Spurs as the replacement to Kane might seem like a daunting prospect. However, the more you think about it, the more it starts to make sense. Record summer transfer Richarlison has been pushed aside to the left wing to compete with Son Heung-Min. However, the former Everton star can easily slip into the striker role once Kane starts to drop off. The 25-year-old Brazilian is five years Kane's junior and is not short in confidence in the role that suited him best at Everton.
This leaves a large gap for an up-and-coming striker to keep the competition up with the safety net of not becoming the main man just yet and Ferguson looks well up for the challenge. Already proving he can compete with the big boys, the 6-foot-2 striker shares many similarities with Kane and Richarlison and would slot in seamlessly into a physical Spurs side.
Questions still remain over Spurs' behaviour towards younger players. If Ferguson is smart, it's definitely something to discuss with the hierarchy, should a move manifest itself. Players like Djed Spence, Joe Rodon, Brian Gil and fellow Ireland international Troy Parrott, have all been pushed out on loan, despite promising starts at the club, and a long-term plan for their progression doesn't seem to be in place.
Despite some worries around recruitment, Tottenham seems like a perfect destination for Ferguson to succeed.
If Conte ends up leaving in the summer, there will be mounting pressure on Daniel Levy to appoint a more long-term project manager in the mould of Mauricio Pochettino (if not re-hiring the man himself) that can work with the large amount of youth prospects already at the club. It's not hard to see Ferguson at the centre of a long overdue Tottenham rebuild once Harry Kane moves on.
Just across London is another club seemingly interested in Ferguson. Graham Potter's Chelsea have been on the lookout for a striker, with no established number nine currently in the squad bar an ageing Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.
New transfer-crazy owner Todd Boehly will soon want to rectify the problem in that area and buying up the hottest talent in the Premier League seems like something he would do. The glitz and glam of the current Chelsea squad could be hard to resist for young Evan, but caution is also needed here.
Despite Potter's ability to man-manage younger players extraordinary well and his personal relationship with Ferguson, who he managed at Brighton, his time at the club may be up before the next transfer window opens. If he was to leave, a project-type manager of his ilk may not be the first port-of-call for Boehly, who clearly wants the club competing for trophies again as soon as possible.
While there's no doubting Ferguson could make his mark at Chelsea, the youngster may be caught at a time where upheaval and player in-and-outs might prove a big obstacle in his early career progression.
While big-money moves to two giant London-based clubs may be a dazzling prospect for an 18-year-old, there's also something to be said about sticking it out on the seaside for a couple more seasons.
Brighton are probably the best run club in the Premier League right now, and there penchant for honing young talent is second to none. Roberto De Zerbi has taken the reigns expertly since Potter left for Chelsea and Ferguson only has to look at how that move is turning out to see that the grass is not always so green on the other side.
Wherever Evan Ferguson does end up, there's no doubting he has the potential and the intelligence to become a major success at the highest level. Whether it's Spurs, Chelsea or further abroad, Ireland fans don't need to worry too much about his next destination.
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