Chelsea have been tipped as the frontrunners in the race to sign Evan Ferguson by former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves.
18-year-old striker Ferguson, who plays for Brighton, has attracted attention from other clubs having become the sixth-youngest player to score a hat-trick in the Premier League. Although he is under contract until 2028, Ferguson's impressive performances have caught the eye of several top sides across Europe, with Chelsea among them.
Hargreaves heaped praise on Ferguson after the Republic of Ireland teenager's heroics in Brighton's 3-1 win against Newcastle United. "That was against the best defence in the Premier League last season," said Hargreaves on The Kelly & Wrighty Show.
"Dan Burn looked very worried about Ferguson. I like the fact that all three goals were different.
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"The first one was an easy one, he was in the right spot. The second was a great goal. He’s a bit of an old school centre-forward, he’s got that physical profile."
Asked which club Ferguson is likely to join, Hargreaves dismissed his former employers United. "Probably Chelsea because they buy all of Brighton’s players," added the ex-England international.
If Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino manages to secure Ferguson's signature, it could be a significant boost for the young player's career. Glenn Murray, the former Brighton and Crystal Palace star, has previously praised Ferguson's potential, stating that he could reach the level of Harry Kane.
"I believe he could be sort of Harry Kane’s level, his stature, his ability," Murray is quoted by football.london as saying. "The thing that bowls me over the most about him is his attitude, how humble he is as a young man.
"You see a lot of lads burst onto the scene and the money and the glamour gets the better of them, but this kid is focused on football. He wants to continue to get better and it’s a pleasure watching him week-in, week-out."
While Chelsea already boast a wealth of attacking options, Pochettino may be inclined to bolster his frontline following Nicolas Jackson's mixed start at the club. The 22-year-old striker, who joined from Villarreal in the summer, has shown promise but has also faced criticism for a missed opportunity against Nottingham Forest.
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After a 1-0 defeat against Forest, Pochettino was asked if Chelsea should have signed a proven prolific goalscorer. The Argentine responded: "When you lose a game, the things that are negative appear.
"When we won against Luton no one talk about this. Yes, you can understand. I respect all the opinions and of course, for our side it is a matter of time to work and improve the players, to create the best platform.
"You know a process like this is always ups and down. We have a very young squad. We need to prove we can score and we can deal with the situation. Of course, we need to be more clinical in front of the goal and not make the same mistake like today when we concede the chance to Nottingham.
"It is situations we need to improve, work really hard and realise. I think with time this squad can be really good and really competitive. For sure we will get different results."
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