Ian Wright has explained why Brighton & Hove Albion star Evan Ferguson would shine if he went to Arsenal, though the Gunners will have to fend off some of their biggest rivals to finalise such a transfer.
Ferguson is only 18 years old but is already making a big statement at the top level. The centre-forward has netted four goals in as many Premier League games this season following a hat-trick against Newcastle United at the weekend.
But it is not just the fact that Ferguson is scoring goals which is impressive, it is also the way he is putting chances away.
After Nick Pope spilled a long-range effort from Billy Gilmour, Ferguson was on hand to finish into the bottom corner at the first time of asking.
Ferguson’s second goal was the best out of the three. He found space between Newcastle’s midfield and defence and drove forward before curling an effort into the bottom corner from 25 yards out.
And his hat-trick was complete when his left-footed shot deflected off Fabian Schar and left Pope with no chance.
The Republic of Ireland international is known to be a target for Arsenal. Indeed, on August 21 it was claimed Mikel Arteta’s side are the ‘most likely’ bidders for him as they try to beat Manchester United to his signature.
But Tottenham have also been in contact with Brighton to discover Ferguson’s availability, while Manchester City surprisingly joined the hunt on Tuesday.
Ian Wright lauds rumoured Arsenal target
Amid all the transfer rumours, Wright has lavished praise on Ferguson and revealed why he will one day be perfect for a ‘top six’ team, such as Arsenal, Man Utd, Spurs or City.
“When you look at him, the way he plays, his appreciation for the game, his movement and finishing [with] both feet, good in the air and good pace,” Wright said during an appearance on Premier League Productions (via HITC).
“He has all the attributes at 18. Very mature in the way he plays. All he has to do is keep doing what he is doing and they are going to start talking about him in million terms because that striker is not allowed. You can’t find that guy to come around, who is 18, in the Premier League and at the perfect club to continue to grow.
“They aren’t going to be able to hold onto that guy if he carries on doing what he is doing. He is too good. So intelligent – for 18, it’s really, really composed finishing.
“He is fearless at 18. Can you imagine being in the Premier League at 18? You’re not under the pressure you would be under like Garnacho would be under at Manchester United – you watch the way he plays, all the top teams, the top six teams. He can play in any of those teams. We know Brighton, at some stage, they will sell him.”
Wright’s praise comes after Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi said Ferguson can become ‘one of the best’ strikers in Europe. De Zerbi added that it is ‘normal’ for Brighton to sell players, but only if they land a suitable replacement.
Arsenal, Man Utd, Spurs and City will all have to bid huge sums of money if they are to reach an agreement with Brighton for the teenager, however. In August, Brighton CEO Paul Barber revealed he is hopeful of keeping Ferguson for as long as five years.
This is clearly ambitious, as if Ferguson feels he has outgrown Brighton then he will begin to push for a move elsewhere. But with the attacker contracted to Brighton until June 2028, the Seagulls are in a very strong negotiating position.