Evan Ferguson in action for the Republic of Ireland in June. [Inpho/James Crombie]

Ferguson commits through 2029

Republic of Ireland striker Evan Ferguson last week agreed a new long-term contract with Brighton that will keep him at the Amex until 2029. The 19-year-old has been one of the breakthrough EPL players over the course of 2023, scoring 11 goals in the top flight after bagging his first goal against Arsenal on the final day of 2022. His impressive performances saw Ferguson linked with both Manchester United and Tottenham in recent months, yet Brighton made it clear they were not ready to part company with their in-demand player just yet. Now they have tied Ferguson down to a long-term deal, with the Irish striker believed to be one of the top-five highest paid players at the club. Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi says the striker is worthy of the pay rise that will come with the new deal. 

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Ferguson, who hails from Bettystown in County Meath, joined the Seagulls from Bohemians in 2021. He also qualifies for England as his mother is English. Asked on Talksport Radio in the UK last week why he is so committed to playing for Ireland, Ferguson simply answered. ‘‘Because I’m Irish.’’ Most pundits agree that it’s unlikely Ferguson will stay at Brighton until 2029, but the south coast club has now ensured a big pay-off if their teenager does move on. Ferguson was not in the Brighton squad for Sunday’s 1-1 home draw against Sheffield United due to a back injury. More soccer news will be posted tomorrow Friday.