Evan Ferguson absence explained as Brighton face 'terrible' injury crisis
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It came as no shock that Lewis Dunk, Pervis Estupinan and James Milner were unable to recover in time from the injuries they suffered at Ajax on Thursday night (November 9).
However, Republic of Ireland striker Ferguson was expected to start having been on the bench in Amsterdam.
The 19-year-old is missing due to a back injury, according to The Athletic’s Andy Naylor.
Ferguson extended his contract until 2029 during the week.
When asked about the teenager during a press conference on Friday, Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi said: “We can’t forget Evan is very young. The young players need much time to improve.
"They need confidence to play. I am pretty happy for him, for his performance, for his improvement but he’s not compete yet as a player and a striker.
"His improvement can be better in possession, to understand play but we are lucky to have him in our team.”
On the injury crisis at the club, the Italian said: “It’s a terrible situation but it’s like this and we can change nothing. In the moment we have to be focused on the game [against Sheffield United].”
Brighton have already lost versatile England man Solly March and Paraguayan teenager Julio Enciso to serious, long-term injuries. Veteran striker Danny Welbeck is also out for the foreseeable future.
Ghana full-back Tariq Lamptey also hasn’t featured since suffering a muscle injury at Marseille. He was due to be in the squad at Everton last weekend but suffered another set-back.