This week’s big transfer news comes from South London where young English starlet Nathan Ferguson has decided to continue his career with Crystal Palace.
The young defender featured prominently for West Brom this season and has already racked up several appearancs for the Under-20s national team.
In this piece, I highlight how exactly Palace was able to lure him to London and what can the Eagles’ fans expect from their new player.
How Did Crystal Palace Seal the Deal?
Ferguson’s transfer from West Bron didn’t go through without drama.
The Baggies’ head coach Slaven Bilic criticized both the player and Palace for unethical conduct in the build-up to his move.
He is, of course, in his right to do that. Such snatchings of youth talents from small clubs are a definite problem for teams like West Brom but in this day and age, Bilic will be better off if he just lets it go.
For better or for worse, the current system is build to help the richer Premier League clubs and any pleads have fallen on deaf ears so far.
Whatever you want to make of the manner in which Palace signed the boy, the deal is a fact and it has to be said that Ferguson himself rejected the chance to continue his career with the Baggies.
His former club will be frustrated that they will not get any money out of a player who has been groomed in their ranks since the age of 8 but that’s life for you.
I am quite sure Ferguson will be thrilled to open up a new chapter in his professional path and I highlight whether he has the potential to really break through in the Premier League with his new team.
What Can Nathan Ferguson Bring to the EPL?
The 19-year-old looks to be another very promising full-back as England is fast becoming the number one country for bringing up talented defenders right now.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Chilwell, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have all become established Premier League players in the last couple of years and it looks like Nathan Ferguson can be the next full-back to make the jump to the big leagues.
The player’s natural position is actually at centre back but he has been primarily deployed as a right-back by Slaven Bilic in West Brom and I feel this will continue when he suits up for Crystal Palace next season.
The Eagles’ are badly missing Wan-Bissaka who went to Manchester United and Ferguson can be a good fit to step into his shoes.
He is quick, energetic, and very mature for his age. In fact, the biggest reason Bilic bemoaned his move to Palace is that he was seeing all the attributes needed for a future West Brom captain.
Ferguson is a bit limited on the offensive end so Palace fans shouldn’t expect the same production on that front as Wan-Bissaka delivered week in, week out, but he can more than compensate with a professional attitude and his no-nonsense approach to defending.
It remains to be seen whether a Birmingham local can thrive in London with all the distractions around but it looks like young Nathan’s focus is solely on bettering his football career and I, for one, definitely think he can go far.
Getting into the England team will be a challenge but the same was true for Joe Gomez who was initially dismissed due to his small frame.
Ferguson is very much in the same boat and it is up to him to show everyone he is a Premier League star in the making.
Kudos to Palace for taking a gamble here as it is bound to pay off one way or another!