After becoming only the fourth 18-year-old to score a Premier League hattrick last week, Brighton and Hove Albion’s wonderkid Evan Ferguson has suffered a knee injury.
Ferguson went on to join his international side Ireland’s camp after his brilliant display against Newcastle on Saturday.
A statement from the Republic of Ireland FA has now confirmed that the teenager has sustained a knee injury and will miss both games that Ireland will play in the UEFA Euro qualifiers against France and the Netherlands.
The statement reads: “Ferguson reported for international duty on Sunday but after assessment from the Ireland medical team, he has been ruled out of both fixtures.”
Manager Steven Kenny confirmed that the injury was not exactly sustained during Brighton’s game against Newcastle but has been aggravated during a period of time. He said: “I don’t think it was well reported as an injury in the game, in the challenge, that’s not the case actually,”
“It is one that he’s been playing on, the patellar tendon injury, a knee injury that he has had some pain in.
“So, he just felt after he did it that it was too sore and he couldn’t play on it. When he came off he just felt too sore and it was too sore to participate in [the Irish camp]. You have to respect that. It was obviously too sore and he was in too much pain.”
Kenny also confirmed that this injury is not a continuation of the striker’s knee injury from last season.
The striker scored his first career hat-trick at the Amex Stadium on Sunday and many were left stunned by his breathtaking performance, particularly with the awareness he showcased on the pitch at such a young age.
His injury is a big blow for Ireland as he is considered to be their brightest talent in a long time and the Irish would have been expecting to see him feature in two huge games against France and the Netherlands. Ireland currently sit 3rd in their qualifying group.
It could be a problem for Brighton as well if the youngster is ruled out for an extended period of time as they would not want to see their young star sidelined after beginning the season in such fabulous fashion.
The Seagulls travel to Old Trafford to face Man United in their next league game after the international break and Roberto De Zerbi will be hoping to continue his side’s brilliant start to the season against a disjointed United side.