Not since Wes Hoolahan was being given the cold shoulder by Giovanni Trapatonni has a nation become so obsessed about one footballer.
The situation is a tad different this time, though. Hoolahan was 26 when Il Trap took the Ireland gig, Evan Ferguson only turned 18 back in October.
Trap chose not to use Hoolahan because he felt Ireland needed to be defensively solid and didn’t need a flair player.
Stephen Kenny’s Ireland are defensively pretty sound, on home soil at least, but have suffered from a lack of goals, so the Brighton & Hove Albion striker looks to have emerged at the perfect time for this Ireland team.
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The Irish have one of the toughest groups and will be pitted against World Cup finalists France and World Cup quarter-finalists Netherlands in Group B, as well as Greece and whipping boys Gibraltar.
If Ferguson can bring his scoring and assisting form to Kenny’s Boys in Green, Ireland could well be in with a good shout of making it to Germany 2024.
Every Irish football fan is talking about Ferguson and we’re getting very excited about what the Co. Meath man could possibly do in a green shirt. A recent thread on Twitter showed that his stats are better than both Erling Haaland and Wayne Rooney when they were 18.
He’s got the whole island dreaming, and Paddy’s traders are just as excited and have put together some special bets for the Seagulls’ star striker.
Evan Ferguson to score 8 or more goals in the EPL
Ferguson has three Premier League goals over 10 appearances so far. We have to state however, that only five of those were starts. He’s also got four cup goals this campaign in the FA and League Cup over six appearances and we should mention his six Under-21 goals before breaking into the first teams too.
Brighton have 11 games to go before the curtain falls on the Premier League for this season and with him starting more games between now and the end of the season it’s a target he could hit.
Evan Ferguson to be top goalscorer for Brighton in the EPL 2022/23
Alexis MacAllister is on seven Premier League goals for the Seagulls this season, Ferguson needs just four to draw level and looking at their upcoming fixtures you’d have to expect him to bag a few.
In April and May, Brighton will host Wolves, Everton and Southamton at the Amex. On current form you’d have to give Brighton a full nine points from those games and Ferguson could have a field day.
So long as he continues to start games he’s going to get the goals and he should end up as the Seagulls top scorer this season.
Evan Ferguson to score in the next two matches (v Latvia & v France)
The great advantage that Stephen Kenny has with Ferguson is opposition teams won’t be too familiar with how he plays. Indeed, the same argument can be made for opposition Premier League teams too.
And having this great unknown in your side means you have an opposition defence who’ll be second guessing how to contain the striker.
A goal against Latvia would almost seem like a given, they’ve kept just three clean sheets over their last 11 fixtures and they were against Liechtenstein (twice) and Andorra.
Against France things might prove a little more difficult but France have only kept two clean sheets over their last 10 fixtures and just one over their last nine away games.
Didier Deschamps’ team doesn’t really care much for defending, and they don’t need to really, given they have Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Oliver Giroud. Ireland are likely to score against the French and Ferguson’s got the smarts and moves to get it.
Evan Ferguson to score 1 or more hat-tricks in the EPL 2022/23
We can’t get those home fixtures out of our head. Wolves, Everton and Southampton. Wolves have conceded an eye-watering nine goals over their last five league games and also nine over their last five on the road.
It was presumed that new manager Sean Dyche would shore up Everton’s defence when he took the Goodison Park job. Well, he hasn’t. They’ve conceded 12 goals over his eight games.
Southampton, although bottom of the league, are actually improving at the back finally. However, there’s a game away to Bournemouth coming up after the international break and we see that Gary O’Neil’s side have conceded three goals in three of their last five league games and in two of their last five at home.
If Ferguson is going to score a hat-trick it’s likely to come against one of these sides…
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