O'Shea praises Ferguson for impressive displays

O'Shea praises Ferguson for impressive displays

Former Republic of Ireland player and current coach John O'Shea hopes that Brighton & Hove Albion's Evan Ferguson can keep up his excellent form this season and produce similar displays for Ireland in the future.

Ferguson has scored 8 goals in all competitions this season in his breakout campaign and, as a result, has become one of the hottest properties in England.

At 18 years old, Ferguson has been linked with the likes of Tottenham, Chelsea, and Manchester United. However, last week he signed a new deal at Brighton. Fans of the Irish national team are hoping that Ferguson can follow in Robbie Keane's footsteps and score a bucketload of goals for his country.

O'Shea, who has seen Ferguson's talent firsthand in Ireland camps, believes that the Bettystown native has all the skills to become a vital player for Ireland in future tournaments.

"You see the level of performance that he's showing already in the Premier League at such a young age—seeing him up close, his dedication, talent, goal-scoring ability, how he finishes—it makes me think he's got," O'Shea said at a Just Eat.ie media event this week.

"First and foremost, he's one of the youngest ever players for Ireland in terms of playing at that elite level—the highest level in and around world football for such a young age. That already tells you what a talent he is. You don't need me to tell you he's a very good player.

Dublin , Ireland - 27 March 2023; Republic of Ireland head of athletic performance Damien Doyle, Republic of Ireland coach Keith Andrews and Republic of Ireland coach John O'Shea walk the pitch (Photo By Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

"Everyone can see it for themselves when they watch him play against Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United—everyone sees the talent. He's shown it on the international scene. Hopefully, he maintains that level of performance when he puts on the Ireland jersey too. We've got a lot to look forward to with him."

Ireland's next games will be against Greece and Gibraltar in June. Stephen Kenny will be hoping that O'Shea sticks around for the Euro 2024 doubleheader.

Kenny's last two assistant coaches, Anthony Barry and John Eustace, both returned to club football. However, O'Shea has confirmed that he will not be leaving the Ireland set-up anytime soon.

"I told Stephen there'd only be a couple of jobs that I would walk away for," he added jokingly.

"No, in all seriousness, I'm very committed to the Irish stuff, and that's what I'll be doing. It's the Irish senior team. That's the simple reason why it won over—wanting to commit to that, for the foreseeable future.

"It's as simple as that. Obviously, I've done quite a bit on the club side of things, and I felt it was a good time to focus all the energy onto the Irish team."