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Evan Ferguson can be the ‘real deal’ for Ireland says Brighton owner Tony Bloom

Eighteen-year-old Ferguson has been a revelation for the high-flying Seagulls in this season’s Premier League

Evan Ferguson: 'The world is his oyster' - says Brigton owner Tony Bloom. Photo: Rob Newell/Getty Images© CameraSport via Getty Images


Brighton owner Tony Bloom is predicting a thrilling future for Irish striker Evan Ferguson, claiming “the world is his oyster”.

Speaking immediately after his horse, Energumene, had successfully defended his Champion Chase crown at the Cheltenham Festival, Bloom expressed a hope that Brighton can keep the Meath teenager out of the reach of a growing army of suitors.

Eighteen-year-old Ferguson has been a revelation for the high-flying Seagulls in this season’s Premier League and is expected to lead the line for Stephen Kenny in Ireland’s crucial upcoming Euro qualifier against France at Lansdowne Road.

Bloom, once dubbed the ‘Godfather of Gambling’, said: “Evan Ferguson a superb player but not only that, he’s got a great manager (Roberto De Zerbi) to take him through to the next level. It can be tough as an 18-year-old to go from nowhere to playing in the Premier League.

“But he has got the temperament and personality to take it in his stride. He’s the real deal for Brighton and Hove Albion and he will be the real deal for Ireland.

“As long as Brighton or the Ireland national team don’t put too much pressure on him, he will be a really key figure for many, many years to come. We love him at Brighton. He’s done amazingly. At his age, to take to Premier League football so well is truly superb.

“We hope that he’ll be with us at the Albion for a long time to come.”

Asked if Brighton could see off the potential interest of bigger clubs, Bloom observed, “I can’t guarantee what will happen in the future but, for the short term, I have no doubt that the best place for Evan to be is at Brighton and Hove Albion football club and I believe he’ll be with us for at least a few seasons to come.

“Because that will be good for his career. Longer term, the world is his oyster and good luck to him, he is so good. He’s got a lot to learn still, but his ability right now is at a very high level.

“Roberto De Zerbi has brought the best out of him and everyone knows what a superb head coach he is. He’s a perfect fit for Brighton and so for Evan, Brighton is a great place for him to be. He understands these things. He’s got a fairly wise head on young shoulders and really good people around him.

“And I look forward to seeing him for, hopefully, quite a while to come at the Albion.”

Bloom also had high praise for another Irish player at Brighton, midfielder Andy Moran.

“He’s also a great young player, someone who can play in many positions, a great prospect,” he said. “He’s even played some minutes for the first team and we have high hopes for him as well. We don’t like to put too much pressure on our young players, but we’re really happy to have him as part of our squad.”

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