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Stephen Kenny on Evan Ferguson

Will Stephen Kenny start Evan Ferguson against France? It sounds like it's likely.

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny joined Nathan Murphy to discuss Brighton and Ireland forward Evan Ferguson.

Evan Ferguson is a regular starter for Brighton now. Despite being just 18 years of age, the Irish player looks at home in the Premier League.

And that's a big deal for Ireland because Stephen Kenny's side haven't been blessed with a goalscorer who stays healthy and plays regularly so far. Adam Idah, Troy Parrott, Michael Obafemi and Callum Robinson have had varied success in the past.

Ferguson might be exactly what Ireland are looking for. With Idah, Parrott and Michael Obafemi offering competition, it's no sure thing who starts. Ireland are suddenly blessed with plenty of potential in their forward line.

But Ferguson has achieved more at a higher level than his peers. So should the youngest player of the group skip the queue and become the main striker?

Stephen Kenny gave no hints of his selection preferences but is very impressed by Ferguson.

"He's already played Liverpool twice," Kenny said.

"He's beaten Liverpool twice and played a lot of games, he's had a remarkable start to his career...So far in the early stages of his career he has made everything look quite easy. He keeps things simple, he protects the ball really well, he shields the ball well, takes the ball in.

"And he makes good, simple decisions. Good decisions in possession. He's mobile and his movement in the box is very good.

"It's natural striker's instincts. And of course he scores headed finishes. Fewer and fewer strikers nowadays are scoring headed goals. We saw [Ferguson score a header] in the under-21s against Israel in the first playoff. It was a brilliant headed goal."

Kenny isn't giving anything away, but we'd be surprised if he wasn't involved against France at this stage. And we might even be surprised if he doesn't start.

But it's also not just about the here and now. Kenny might prioritize the more established players to protect Ferguson since he is still so young. You don't want to burn him out too early in his career. Especially when he's a big, athletic striker who opponents will look to rough up whenever they can.

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Evan Ferguson France Ireland Stephen Kenny