Nathan Ferguson of West Brom tackles with Daishawn Redan of Chelsea during the FA Youth Cup Fourth Round match between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion at Aldershot Town Football Club on January 17, 2018 in Aldershot, England. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

In a recent Q&A with The Evening Standard, renowned journalist Jack Rosser claimed that Crystal Palace are confident about their chances of securing the signature of West Bromwich Albion defender Nathan Ferguson this summer. The English talent’s current contract at the Hawthorns runs out at the end of this campaign which means that the Eagles could land him for free in the off-season (via The Evening Standard).

Ferguson’s Incredible Rise In The English Second Division

The 19-year-old came through the youth ranks of West Brom before graduating from their academy. He had been promoted to the Baggies first-team by Slaven Bilić earlier in this campaign. Since then, Ferguson has taken great strides towards improving his overall game during this EFL Championship season.

The talented teenager has played in 21 matches for the West Midlands outfit this term, scoring one goal and providing one assist in all competitions. More importantly, he has made an average of 2.4 tackles, 0.9 interceptions and 1.7 clearances in every 90 minutes of league football this season which goes to highlight his growing influence on the defensive end of the field (stats via whoscored).

The Birmingham-born prospect has also represented England at various youth levels and is currently an important member of the Three Lions’ Under-20 set-up. Ferguson’s versatility to play anywhere across the backline makes him a perfect fit for Roy Hodgson’s side at Selhurst Park, so it makes sense for Palace to go all out in pursuit of his signature when the transfer window reopens later this summer.

Nabil Touaizi of Manchester City controls the ball as Nathan Ferguson of West Bromwich Albion looks on during the FA Youth Cup match between Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion at The Academy Stadium on April 01, 2019, in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

What Will The Baggies Defender Add To Hodgson’s Team?

Ferguson is a moderately-paced defender who is always willing to work hard for the benefit of his team. He has transformed himself into a reliable centre-back under Bilic’s tutelage at the Hawthorns but still has a lot to learn if he wants to be a regular starter in the Premier League someday. The English whizkid is not afraid to get stuck in with a few challenges that allow him to make some vital interceptions for his side. He also boasts a healthy pass success rate of 77.1% in league football (stats via whoscored).

Is Ferguson The Right Choice For The Eagles?

Ferguson is a homegrown talent and has the potential to become an excellent defender, but for that to happen, he needs to ensure regular game time at the highest level. Palace could be a perfect home for the English centre-back as he will give the likes of Scott Dann and Gary Cahill a run for their money for a place in Hodgson’s starting XI. Furthermore, he will also provide some much-needed cover for the first-choice Palace full-backs, Joel Ward and Patrick van Aanholt.

Hodgson could also take a more flexible approach with his formations, tactics and team selection next season if he can bring Ferguson to Selhurst Park this summer. At 19, he is only about to get better and better which is something that the Eagles could look to benefit from in the coming years.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.