Republic of Ireland Journalist's Notebook: Evan Ferguson the teenager to fill the voids left by two Keanes |  Soccer News

“We’re a bit missing in high quality in assault”, is how I keep in mind Martin O’Neill understanding the issue splendidly, after a fourth sport in a row and not using a aim within the last throes of his tenure as supervisor of the Republic of France. ‘Eire.

The person who started his reign because the nation’s high goalscorer – though not at his peak – couldn’t be questioned for trying excessive and low for one more Robbie Keane.

The reality, nonetheless, was that not one of the many he auditioned may even match the Dubliner’s tumbling aim celebration, not to mention the craftsmanship that led to it.

That is why there’s a lot pleasure in Irish neighborhoods about Evan Ferguson.

Callum O’Dowda scored the opener in opposition to Latvia

Not that he is the brand new Robbie Keane – that is a heavy coat to placed on any Irish striker, not to mention an 18-year-old with simply 5 Premier League begins – however that lastly they appear to have discovered somebody who has the potential to be a surpass what now we have seen on the Aviva stadium lately.

Ferguson’s aim in opposition to Latvia this week on his first worldwide begin made him the second-youngest participant to attain for Eire.

Evan Ferguson of the Republic of Ireland celebrates scoring his team's second goal against Latvia
Evan Ferguson celebrates his workforce’s second aim

You solely have one guess as to who’s first. Afterwards, nonetheless holding his quantity 19 jersey which he would give to his dad and mom, we requested him how he was dealing with the expectation and hype surrounding him for the time being. “It is only a soccer match,” he smiles.

His father Barry had an extended profession within the League of Eire and a quick one in England, the place he began at Coventry Metropolis. In 2019 he was a dad who nervously watched his 14-year-old son play a senior debut for Bohemians in opposition to Cesar Azpilicueta and Pedro as Frank Lampard’s Chelsea got here to Dublin for a pleasant.

Brighton shrewdly dampened the noise by taking Ferguson to England in January 2021, with Liverpool amongst these additionally .


On the south coast it was a house away from residence as Ferguson obtained an Irish welcome from senior professional Shane Duffy, in addition to children Aaron Connelly and Jayson Molumby who would go on to play alongside Duffy at worldwide degree.

Connolly’s trajectory is a reminder that bursting onto the scene as a teenage striker within the Premier League doesn’t assure a straight line to the highest.

A Carabao Cup aim and first cap minutes from the bench for Eire in November continued Ferguson’s progress, however few exterior membership and nation knew an excessive amount of concerning the mature, polished teenager.

All that modified in lower than three months, nonetheless, with Premier League targets in opposition to Arsenal and Everton scoring in elegant FA Cup finishes final Sunday that helped Brighton progress to a semi-final at Wembley.

Ferguson shows his joy of scoring for his country
Ferguson reveals his pleasure of scoring for his nation

His composure in entrance of aim is not the one factor giving him a probably excessive ceiling. Brighton foster supervisor Roberto De Zerbi was delighted with the teenager’s potential to be “a midfielder away from aim and a striker within the final 20 yards”. One of many sport’s biggest goalscorers, Gary Lineker, mentioned: “I see an actual centre-forward in entrance of my eyes.”

The pleasure of the Irish in direction of this prodigious younger expertise is obvious. It has been a very long time since their gamers have formed the narratives of the Premier League. So lengthy you might argue that Roy Keane continues to be probably the most talked about participant within the nation – that is the protection he retains getting seemingly each time he speaks. He retired from the sport in 2006.

Poor Evan is {the teenager} who should fill the voids left by two Keanes.

However the early indicators are splendidly thrilling. Monday night time in opposition to France will inform us extra.

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By moh

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