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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Mark McCadden

Shay Given compares Evan Ferguson to his former Newcastle United teammate Alan Shearer

Shay Given reckons there are shades of his former Newcastle United teammate Alan Shearer in Ireland wonderkid Evan Ferguson.

Given has also echoed the widespread view that Ferguson’s game is similar to Tottenham hotshot Harry Kane.

The ex-Ireland goalkeeper played with Shearer at St James’ Park between 1997 and 2006.

READ MORE: Top German clubs showing interest in young Ireland sensation

Speaking to LeoVegas, he said: “Evan Ferguson looks the real deal.

“I think he’s got a bit of Alan Shearer and Harry Kane about him. That goal against Southampton on the weekend was quite Shearer-like when he blasted it through the keeper, he just went for absolute power.

“Then you see him in other weeks with his link up play – he’s very good at dropping into midfield and finding forward runners.

“Brighton are very good at that with their wide players getting into advanced positions.

“He can therefore stretch the pitch and the centre-halves one way, but equally he is able to come deep.

“You look at the likes of Harry Kane for Tottenham, who comes deep into those pockets and sprays the ball out for Heung-min Son and Dejan Kulusevski.

“I’m sure he looks at someone like Kane and thinks ‘this is someone I can be or emulate one day’, in terms of his goalscoring record and what he brings to the team.”

While Ferguson will be wanted by a number of top clubs this summer, he would be best served by remaining at Brighton, says Given.

“I think there will be clubs looking at him now and he could potentially move to a bigger club now, no disrespect to Brighton, but at the same time I feel he is in the perfect position,” he said.

“He’s playing regularly with the first team and if he moves to another club he could become more of a squad player.

“It’s important once you break into any first team to stay there and play regular first team football and keep improving as a player every week.

“I think he’d be well-advised to stay where he’s at for at least another season.

“He’s just signed a new contract and even if he does stay for two or three seasons, he’s still only a kid.

“There’s no rush for him to have a big move, but I’m sure in the future he’ll have some big moves in him – he’s a top player.

“He’s got huge potential, and if I’m putting my Irish hat on, he’s very exciting for the Irish fans too.

“He’s going to grow into that striker position and get better and stronger, and if he’s playing at Brighton in the Premier League every week it’ll also help him get better.

“I’ve been very impressed with his first season.”


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