Why Crystal Palace should swoop for Nathan Ferguson in January
According to Daily Mail, West Brom could put young right-back Nathan Ferguson up for sale in January to avoid losing him for a thrifty compensation fee at the end of the ongoing campaign, with the 19-year-old’s contract at the Hawthorns set to expire in 2020.
The Walsall-born defender, who spent ten years in the Baggies’ academy ranks prior to his senior breakthrough under Slaven Bilic this term, has made eyeballs turn with his consistently impressive displays in the Championship.
Tottenham and Crystal Palace have been credited with an interest in the teenager’s services and both the London giants are expected to make official approaches for the impressive breakout star when the transfer window reopens in January (h/t Daily Mail).
With no signs of a breakthrough in contract talks with the player just yet, the Baggies now fear that Ferguson is simply trying to run down his present contract to leave for free next summer (h/t Daily Mail).
Nathan Ferguson, who made his senior professional debut in the Baggies’ 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest on the opening day of the Championship back in August, has gone from strength to strength over the last three months.
Having scored and assisted one apiece in 13 starts in the Championship so far, the 19-year-old has been at the centre of a lot of good things that West Brom have achieved under Bilic this season.
However, with Palace and Spurs circling around like sharks to take advantage of the youngster’s unsettled contract situation, the Baggies might be forced to sell him in January.
Tottenham are yet to bring in a long-term replacement for Kieran Trippier, with Serge Aurier and Kyle Walker-Peters struggling to fill the void left by the England international’s departure in January.
Palace, on the other hand, could utilize Ferguson as a potential successor to Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who departed Selhurst Park for Man United in the summer.
As per whoscored, Nathan Ferguson has averaged 46.8 passes per game at an accuracy percentage of 76.3, including 2 successful long balls, 2.4 tackles, 1.1 interceptions and 1.8 clearances per game in the Championship this term.
Furthermore, the 19-year-old has completed 31 out of an attempted total of 42 tackles in the Championship, amounting to a success rate of 73.8%.
To put things into perspective, Nathan Ferguson is blessed with serious potential and Crystal Palace should not hesitate to swoop for him in January if West Brom do put him up for sale during the mid-season trading period.
The 19-year-old has already showcased a level of maturity that belies his tender years as a professional footballer. As far as Palace are concerned, Joel Ward has stepped up to fill in the void and has done his reputation no harm so far.
The versatile 30-year-old has started each of the Eagles’ first 12 games in the Premier League so far, averaging an impressive 2.2 tackles, 1.8 interceptions and 3.4 clearances per game (whoscored). However, Ward yet to score or assist even once.
To that end, Palace need a specialist right-back to link up with their wide attackers in the final third and Ferguson, with his versatility to play on either side of the backline, looks like a player in the right age bracket.
More Crystal Palace News
- Why Matty Cash would be an exciting signing for Crystal Palace
- Why Crystal Palace signing Dominik Greif could be a smart move
- Why Crystal Palace should make a move for James Tavernier in January
As for West Brom, they need to make a decision on the 19-year-old’s future at the earliest, given that the January window is the last real opportunity for them to get a reasonable fee. Louie Barry left for Barcelona on a free transfer last summer and the Baggies should be wary of Ferguson trying to do the same.
All in all, it is a no-brainer for Crystal Palace to capitalize if West Brom decide to cash in on their prized asset in January.