Why Crystal Palace should go for West Brom full-back Nathan Ferguson
According to the Athletic, Crystal Palace are likely to make a summer move for West Brom defender Nathan Ferguson.
During the January window, the Evening Standard claimed Crystal Palace had agreed on a £4million deal with West Brom for Nathan Ferguson but a move to Selhurst Park fell through as the club discovered a potential issue that they felt required an operation.
The 19-year-old has enjoyed his breakthrough campaign at West Brom under Slaven Bilic. He has played a key role in the Championship run-in for Bilic’s side, scoring and assisting a goal each in 21 games. The full-back underwent surgery last month and is yet to return to action.
However, Ferguson’s current deal at West Brom expires this summer and he is set to become a free agent. Hence, Crystal Palace need to act swiftly and get a deal done.
Roy Hodgson has failed to bring in a replacement for Aaron Wan-Bissaka over the last two transfer windows. Wan-Bissaka joined Manchester United before the start of the season, leaving Hodgson with just Joel Ward and Martin Kelly as options at right-back. His exit left a huge void in Hodgson’s side this season.
Failing to replace Wan-Bissaka saw the Palace boss start the campaign with Joel Ward at right-back. Even though Ward has performed extremely well and made the right-back spot his own this season, the fact is he has endured injury problems this season and has entered his 30s.
Ward’s deputy, Martin Kelly is not a natural right-back and is most comfortable playing as a centre-back. Having said that, Hodgson should strengthen his right-back area in the summer by bringing in Nathan Ferguson. Ferguson has impressed in the Championship this season for West Brom and has shown his versatility by playing in a number of different positions across the backline.
He has played at right-back and left-back in the first-team, and also as a centre-back in the U23s, and such versatility could come handy and offer Hodgson a variety of options in his team selection next season if the veteran English manager is able to bring him to Selhurst Park.
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The England Under-20 international would be a replacement for Wan-Bissaka while bringing competition for Ward and Patrick van Aanholt at full-back. He’ll also add depth to Hodgson’s squad.
Palace signing Ferguson would be the acquisition of a talented prospect who could go on to have an immediate impact for Hodgson’s side, while also developing over the years.