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Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 8°C
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# teenage dreams
17-year-old Irish striker makes Premier League debut
Evan Ferguson came off the bench during Brighton’s defeat by Burnley.

17-YEAR-OLD Ireland U21 international Evan Ferguson has made his Premier League debut today.

The teenager came off the bench in the 68th minute of Brighton’s 3-0 loss to Burnley.

It continues the Dubliner’s rapid rise to the top level.

He memorably made his senior debut for Bohemians aged 14 in a friendly against Chelsea before becoming the youngest player to make a league appearance in the club’s history, when he featured against Derry City in September 2019.

Ferguson, whose father Barry played as the defender in the League of Ireland with Shamrock Rovers and Longford, subsequently joined Brighton in January 2021 aged 16, and his progress has continued since then.

Before today, he already had three senior appearances under his belt, making his debut in the EFL Cup last August, in addition to featuring twice in the FA Cup since the turn of the year.

He has also featured five times for Ireland at U21 level, with boss Jim Crawford hailing him as “mature beyond his years”

And with another talented young Irish striker, Adam Idah, recently ruled out for the season, the youngster could force his way into Stephen Kenny’s plans later in the year if he continues to progress well. 

The match itself saw Wout Weghorst fire his first Premier League goal as relegation-threatened Burnley climbed off the bottom of the table with a resounding 3-0 success.

Netherlands striker Weghorst – a £12million January signing from German club Wolfsburg following Chris Wood’s departure to Newcastle – set the Clarets on course for a first win in 12 top-flight games with a clinical finish.

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Josh Brownhill’s deflected drive doubled the visitors’ advantage before Aaron Lennon’s second-half strike sealed a stunning scoreline at the Amex Stadium.

Success on the south coast was only a second top-flight victory of a difficult season for the struggling Clarets’ – and a first away from Turf Moor.

The overdue triumph lifts Sean Dyche’s side above Norwich on goal difference and leaves them five points from safety, albeit with games in hand on their rivals.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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