Evan Ferguson to Arsenal: Is Brighton star worth €115m transfer gamble?

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • 26 Feb 2024 13:47 GMT
  • 2 min read
Evan Ferguson, Brighton, 2023/24

Arsenal have been linked with a move for Brighton’s Evan Ferguson in the summer, with the 19-year-old seen as a potential to the Gunners’ perceived lack of firepower in the No.9 role.

Recent results have seen the pressure on Arsenal to find a goal scorer diminish. Six successive Premier League wins have brought 25 goals.

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Equally, though, a limp offensive display against Porto in the Champions League saw Mikel Arteta’s side shit out and served as a reminder that a natural centre-forward would be a worthwhile acquisition.

With Ferguson expected to have a price tag in the region of €115 million slapped on him by Brighton, who sold Moises Caicedo to Chelsea last summer for a similar amount, the Ireland international represents a huge investment to Arsenal.

This is particularly the case given the 19-year-old has experienced a relatively disappointing season.

He has returned only six goals in 31 appearances, with the last of these coming against Nottingham Forest in November. It is a far cry from the red-hot start he made, in which a hat-trick against Newcastle made him one of the players to watch for the season.

Manager Roberto De Zerbi has had him in and out of the team since.

A player with massive potential

Ferguson, though, remains a worthwhile acquisition for Arsenal.

With a No.9 Arsenal’s summer wish, there is no one in the mould of Ferguson who has the potential to become a better player, according to data firm SciSports.

Ferguson is given a potential rating of 124.1 by the data analytics experts, which is superior to players with an 80% similarity to him.

Manchester United star Rasmus Hojlund has a ceiling of 119.4, for example, while Roma’s Tammy Abraham, who is out with a long-term injury but has been linked with a move to Arsenal in the past, could hit 109.0.

The drawback is clear. At 19 years old, Ferguson is not yet a top level player. He has a SciSkill rating of 84.2, which is a long way short of the type of elite player Mikel Arteta would ideally want.

The issue, though, is whether Arsenal believe he is worth the €115m outlay in the first place, which represents a gamble given there is not guarantee he can reach his potential.

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