Nathan Ferguson has been one of the standout players for West Bromwich Albion in the Sky Bet Championship so far this season.
After making his first-team debut for the club on the opening day of the campaign, the 19-year-old has gone on to make 20 appearances for Albion and has established himself as one of the best young players in the Championship.
The defender has played a key role in the Baggies’ excellent first half of the season under Slaven Bilic, but with his contract due to expire at the end of the season, his future at The Hawthorns is currently uncertain.
With the January transfer window almost upon us, the full-back has been linked with moves to a number of top clubs – including in the Premier League and overseas – but West Brom are desperate to get him tied down to a new five-year contract.
In the latest FLW Six Pointer, we discuss Ferguson’s situation at West Brom in more detail…
What have you made of Ferguson’s performances for West Brom so far this season?
“Ferguson has been excellent for West Brom so far this season and has played a key role in the Baggies’ promising start to the campaign under Slaven Bilic.
“He’s one of the best young talents in the Championship for me and he’s really impressed me with how quickly he’s adapted to the division.
“He’s a great defender, but his pace and ability on the ball also make him very good going forward. He’s still got a lot to learn, but he’s showing huge potential and he could have a very big future ahead of him in football.”
Where do you think would be the best option for Ferguson at this stage of his career?
“I personally think Ferguson would be better of remaining at West Brom. He’s been excellent for the Baggies so far this season and is already a crucial member of the squad.
“He’s one of the first names on the teamsheet at Albion and playing regular first-team football – especially in a league as competitive as the Championship – is so crucial for his development.
“If he were to move to a different team, there’s no guarantee he’d be starting games every week. If he were to move to one of the top Premier League clubs, he’d likely find himself playing for their under-23s or could even be sent out on loan.
“With this in mind, I think he’d be taking a big risk by leaving West Brom and I believe his best option would be to remain at the club where he’s already comfortable.
“Besides, if he does stay, there’s a very good chance he’ll be playing Premier League football next season anyway.”
Are you surprised that he hasn’t signed a new deal yet?
“Not really, no. Ferguson is one of the most exciting young players in the Championship and with his contract set to expire at the end of the season, he’ll know that a number of top clubs are going to be interested in signing him.
“I think he just wants to keep his options open for as long as possible, but with the January transfer window just around the corner, he’s running out of time.
“If Ferguson is to leave The Hawthorns, he needs to consider his options very carefully, as it will have a big impact on his life and the rest of his career.”
Do you expect Ferguson to sign a new contract?
“It really is a tough one to call. I personally feel that remaining at West Brom is the best option for him at this stage of his career, so if I were him, I’d sign a new contract, but at the same time, I wouldn’t be that surprised to see him leave.
“There’s every chance that Ferguson could be tempted by the chance to move to one of the top Premier League clubs or a top European club like Atletico Madrid or Juventus, so it’ll be very interesting to see what happens.
“It’s a massive decision for such a young player to make and he needs to make sure that he gets it right.”
How big a blow would it be for West Brom if they were to lose Ferguson?
“Ferguson is one of the most exciting young talents in the Championship and he’s been excellent for West Brom so far this season.
“He’s got so much potential and if West Brom are to win promotion this season, you feel that he could be good enough to handle the step up to the Premier League.
“He could have a very big future ahead of him at West Brom, so with this in mind, it would definitely be a blow for the club if he were to leave – although it wouldn’t be the first time that Albion have lost one of their best young players.”
Do you think West Brom should consider selling Ferguson in January if he reuses to sign a new contract?
“Ferguson is a very talented footballer and West Brom should do everything in their power to persuade him to sign a new long-term contract, but if he doesn’t sign a new deal, perhaps selling him in January is something that the club should consider.
“From a financial perspective, it would be a huge blow for West Brom to lose a player of Ferguson’s ability and potential for nothing, so if he refuses to sign a new deal, maybe selling him would be a sensible option.
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“It would be a big blow for the club to lose him in January, but they should have enough depth and quality in their squad to get by without him until the end of the season.”
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.