Newcastle United were recently linked with a move for Brighton’s 18-year-old forward Evan Ferguson who has hit the ground running on the south coast. He’s now up for the NXGN award.
The list of the best Wonderkids in World Football, the NXGN, was released today on GOAL‘s website. In previous years the players were ranked and one youngster was chosen as the overall winner, however in a shake-up to the formula, 2023’s award will see nine players selected from the list of 50.
There are some names on the list familiar to Newcastle fans as we’ve been linked with many wonderkids since Dan Ashworth arrived at Newcastle and set out his goal to meld the academy and first-team.
The idea is that every player brought in by the club, no matter the level, will be trained to play the way the first-team does. There’s therefore been a clear focus on bringing in the best and brightest youngsters to follow through on that plan.
Ferguson’s stock is rising, now being recognised as one of the world’s best youngsters
Evan Ferguson‘s entry on the list is accompanied by the following description: “Brighton have been crying out for a consistent striker since their promotion to the Premier League, but early signs suggest that they might have found their man in Ferguson.
“The 18-year-old became the youngest player since 2009 to score in back-to-back Premier League matches earlier this season, with his strength and finishing ability allowing him to translate excellent youth-team performances to the senior level.
“Already a full Republic of Ireland international, Ferguson rejected Liverpool when he decided to move to England, and Brighton are already reaping the rewards of being able to secure a top teenage talent.”
Unfortunately, Ferguson didn’t make it into the final nine for this year’s NXGN.
Ferguson was compared to Newcastle legend Alan Shearer
Ferguson was recently compared to Alan Shearer, whose former club Newcastle were named as one of the clubs keeping a close eye on the Republic of Ireland international by the Mirror.
The youngster grabbed the headlines again at the weekend after he scored a brace for Brighton in their 5-0 win over League Two’s Grimsby Town in the FA Cup on Sunday, his first goal showing exactly why he’s so highly rated: Alexis Mac Allister found Ferguson and with his back to goal, he brought the ball down with his left foot, transferred it to his right on the pivot and fired home. It was a move of sheer class and a fantastic finish.
Chelsea and Tottenham are keeping tabs on Ferguson along with Newcastle. If Brighton would be willing to let him leave, Newcastle have a secret weapon in Dan Ashworth who was with the Seagulls when they brought in Ferguson from Bohemians in 2021.