Evan Ferguson: Brighton forward who is fast developing into a £100m player.

This season Evan Ferguson put up a fantastic performance for Brighton at just 18-years-old; the Republic of Ireland forward has helped the Seagulls secure European football for the first time ever in the history of the club.

As Brighton secured European football for the first time in the club’s history with help from two Evan Ferguson goals netted against Southampton on Sunday, there was a celebration for what will be, but also a tinge of regret for what could have been.

If the kid who could become king had not been unavailable for nearly a month through an ankle injury, the south coast club are confident they would have had Newcastle and Manchester United fretting over a Champions League spot, while reaching the FA Cup final at the expense of the latter.

At just 18, the impact Ferguson has had during his breakthrough season both on Brighton’s attack and opposition defenses has been pronounced enough for some sharp minds in football to declare he could develop into a £100m player.

No one involved in the Republic of Ireland international’s formative years would mark that as hyperbole. Those working with Ferguson now believe we are being treated to a live showcase of a Premier League great in the making. Is that too much expectation and pressure on a teenager? An unequivocal ‘no’ is the response from those who know him best. This season has played for on 1,218 Minutes, Game Stated 14, Number of goals 10 and 22 shuts on target is on his way to a record breaking signing for next year’s season at just 18.

Karl Lambe first encountered the teenager as a six-year-old at the prestigious St Kevin’s Football Club in Dublin. “He first told me at eight that he wanted to play in the Premier League, and he said it with conviction,” “From then, he’d hit every milestone with such focus like he was on this journey to get there, a map he’d drawn in his head.

“They probably seem quite insignificant now when you’re talking about the bigger scheme of scoring and playing in the Premier League or representing Ireland, but for example: when we were U8s he scored five goals to win the league.

“There was a newspaper heading of ‘Evan sent’ and he kept delivering. There was an U11 cup final that was his favourite game where he scored four and set up one. We’d go on tour and face the likes of Barcelona who had players that already had millions of followers on social media and a huge reputation, but he was the standout. He has never been out of place on a football pitch.”

Neil Fox, who worked with Ferguson at St Kevin’s and at youth level for Ireland, chimes in: “I can’t remember how long we were saying ‘he’s something else. He’s something really special.

Ferguson is highly optimistic in high spirit to take the big stage.

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