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Highly rated striker Evan Ferguson has signed a new contract with Brighton and Hove Albion which ties him to the club until 2029.
The 19-year-old Republic of Ireland international has extended his existing deal with the Seagulls, amid reports that other Premier League clubs were tracking his progress.
“Evan deserves this new contract and he has a very big future ahead of him,” Brighton head coach Roberto De Zerbi said.
Ferguson joined Brighton from Irish side Bohemians in January 2021 and made his first-team debut later that year in a Carabao Cup tie against Cardiff.
He has scored 15 times for the first team since then, having opened his account against Arsenal last December.
De Zerbi added later at his Friday press conference: “We can’t forget that Evan is a very young player and needs time to grow confidence and play, but I’m really happy for him and his new contract.
“He’s not complete as a striker yet. There is room for improvement but we’re lucky to have him in our team.”
Brighton technical director David Weir said: “Evan is a brilliant young talent and we are delighted for him.
“He’s shown his ability at club and international level, after breaking into the team at the start of the year, and we are looking forward to working with him and watching his continued progress.”
Ferguson made his senior Ireland debut in March, scoring in a 3-2 win over Latvia.
He and his team-mates must quickly recover from their impressive 2-0 victory away to Ajax in the Europa League on Thursday in time for a Premier League clash at home to Sheffield United on Sunday.
De Zerbi does not expect defenders Pervis Estupinan and Lewis Dunk or midfielder James Milner to be available against the Blades after all three had to go off injured against Ajax.
Estupinan had not featured since the 6-1 hammering away to Aston Villa on September 30 due to a muscle injury, and managed just 12 minutes as a substitute in Amsterdam before having to come off.
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