It’s accepted certainty that Evan Ferguson will go away Brighton in some unspecified time in the future within the subsequent few years, probably as quickly as this summer time’s switch window. However for Chelsea? He must be mad to swap the American Categorical Stadium for Stamford Bridge.
And if his fledgling profession up to now has proven us something, it’s that Ferguson will not be mad. Removed from it. He’s an older, wiser head on younger shoulders. He makes remarkably smart selections primarily based on what is nice for his profession slightly than his financial institution stability.
Ferguson desires to become the most effective participant he can. To that finish, he seems to have a very good crew round him, versus the type of money-obsessed brokers whose self-interest can typically injury the careers of the promising younger abilities they profess to help. Therefore why negotiations over a new Brighton contract operating by means of to 2029 which Ferguson signed in November had been mentioned to be so easy.
It additionally explains why Ferguson moved to the Albion within the first place. Having first come to prominence when taking part in as a 14-year-old for League of Eire facet Bohemians in a pre-season pleasant towards Chelsea in July 2019, each high membership in England and Scotland had been all for securing Ferguson’s providers.
He had trials with Manchester United, Everton, Celtic and Liverpool. The Reds had been significantly desperate to take Ferguson to Anfield and he spent a number of weeks coaching on Merseyside. All of these golf equipment would have provided extra money than Brighton, and but Ferguson opted to signal for the Seagulls in January 2021.
Speaking in regards to the determination in an interview with The Athletic, Ferguson mentioned: “I went to Liverpool a number of occasions. It’s a very good membership, however you see so many boys at Liverpool simply fading away and there’s no probability to get within the first crew. I used to be pondering, ‘Do I simply wish to play two years of under-18s after which go to the 23s and go from there to the place?’ Brighton is an effective membership. The folks working round are at all times there to assist.
“It got here all the way down to the truth that in case you come to Brighton it is a pathway by means of. When you go to a crew akin to Liverpool, then they will purchase a striker for £60m to £70m. At Brighton, they wish to carry their academy gamers by means of and provides them an opportunity. I would say that was the rationale, wanting long run slightly than brief time period. So I would say that this was the ultimate purpose.”
Ferguson elaborated when chatting with Sussex Live a month later: “I used to come back over to all of the golf equipment with my dad. He had a clue about what was occurring so I feel he was key. I had been on a trial to some golf equipment however Liverpool was the principle one apart from Brighton.
“I feel from the surface it was apparent to see the pathway [at Brighton] and many of the managers right here have given possibilities to younger gamers. After I came to visit it was totally different from all the opposite golf equipment, they had been undoubtedly the crew I needed to affix.”
That brings us properly to Chelsea. The Blues have been linked with a summer time bid for Ferguson in extra of the £115m they paid to break the British transfer record last summer for Moises Caicedo. The previous 18 months exhibits us cash is not any object to Todd Boehly and while the promise of riches has lured £1bn value of expertise to Stamford Bridge because the haphazard American took over, would it not be sufficient to tempt Ferguson?
Not if the choice making which noticed Ferguson flip down Liverpool, United and the remainder in favour of Brighton is something go by. No one who has moved to Chelsea within the Boehly Period has seen their inventory rise; a transfer to Stamford Bridge as of late is tantamount to profession suicide. Ferguson has seen that first-hand by means of the procession of people he labored with at Brighton who left Sussex searching for greener grass (and a a lot more healthy financial institution stability) in West London.
Marc Cucurella, Robert Sanchez and Caicedo have all gone backwards after becoming a member of Chelsea. Graham Potter went from the following large managerial factor to sacked inside seven months. It’s virtually as if Brighton create an surroundings the place people thrive whereas Chelsea fosters a poisonous, self-entitlement that places cash above all else.
Transfer to Stamford Bridge, fail to stay as much as expectations and Ferguson will see his rise stalled. The Republic of Eire could be liable to not getting the most effective of a generational expertise a nation appears to have pinned its footballing hopes on. It could be a travesty for a participant who has earned comparisons to everybody from Duncan Edwards to Marco van Basten to Wayne Rooney to Erling Haaland. Gary Lineker, Robbie Keane and Kylian Mbappe have all spoken publicly in reward of Ferguson since he broke into the Brighton first crew squad in December 2022.
Chelsea would possibly need Ferguson, however he is aware of Brighton is the most effective place to develop and enhance at this stage in his profession. The place participant growth trumps prompt success and successful trophies. As proficient as Ferguson already is, he nonetheless has a lot to be taught. It’s scary to suppose how good he can turn into in 5 to 10 years, offering he has the correct teaching and a steady surroundings to assist him get there. Edwards, Van Basten, Rooney and Haaland ranges of fine, in keeping with the consultants.
Proper now, that surroundings is taking part in for Roberto De Zerbi at Brighton. Within the not-too-distant future, it may be Liverpool, Manchester Metropolis or one of many giants of European soccer. However a transfer this summer time to the black gap for proficient younger gamers that’s Chelsea? It could be a mad profession transfer for a footballer with the world at his ft.
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