Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is seemingly targetting a new centre-forward addition ahead of the summer transfer window, with the Dutchman seeking to acquire a long-term solution in that role having allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to depart back in November.
Amid that search for a quality number nine, the Old Trafford outfit may well be regretting missing out on a player who is currently thriving in the Premier League in the form of Brighton and Hove Albion‘s Evan Ferguson.
As the 18-year-old himself recently revealed, the teenager had previously been on trial with the Red Devils – among others – before ultimately opting to join the Seagulls from Bohemians in January 2021, having stated:
“I have been on a trial to a few clubs but that [Liverpool] was the main one [other than Brighton]. I was on trial with Manchester United, Celtic, and Everton. I think from the outside it was obvious to see that [pathway] and most of the managers here have given chances to young players.”
The young Irishman has been justified in his decision to make the move to the Amex after swiftly forcing his way into the first-team reckoning, having perhaps been unable to see a pathway at United, as the club continually recruited more experienced, striking options, such as Edinson Cavani and the aforementioned Ronaldo.
Although it is still early days with regards to the 6 foot 2 sensation’s time in the top-flight, the senior Republic of Ireland international is already showcasing his quality for Roberto De Zerbi’s side, hence leaving those at the Theatre of Dreams – as well as the other named suitors – to regret their previous failure to sign him.
How is Evan Ferguson performing at Brighton?
The towering starlet has made a strong impression in recent months having already scored three goals and provided two assists in just seven Premier League appearances this season, having also provided a further goal and assist in the League Cup earlier in the campaign.
That hot streak has been a continuation of the form that Ferguson had shown at youth level after bagging 18 goals in only 39 games for Brighton’s U21 side, including five goals in just six Premier League 2 outings at the start of the season.
The exciting prospect was notably lauded after scoring against Leicester City at the end of last month, with Sky Sports pundit Tim Sherwood describing his finish as like watching Newcastle United legend “Alan Shearer in his pomp“.
To be likened to the leading scorer in Premier League history is some feat indeed, with the young, “goalscoring machine” – as previously described by ex-League of Ireland player Alan Mathews – looking set for a bright future in the game.
With United having famously missed out on Shearer during Sir Alex Ferguson’s time at the helm, it would be a real source of frustration if the club have missed their chance to land his heir apparent, particularly with the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur now circling for the teen’s signature.
It is not out of the question that Ten Hag and co could emerge as a possible suitor later down the line, although even then it would likely require a hefty fee to sign a player who they previously had on trial.