Preston North End have been linked with Brighton and Hove Albion striker Evan Ferguson but their hopes of singing him are surely over now.

The Daily Mail reported in November that PNE were in the race to sign Ferguson on loan during the January window.

Sheffield United, Millwall, Middlesbrough, Birmingham City, Bristol City, Wigan Athletic and Ipswich Town were also mentioned in the race.

Ferguson is a young Irish striker with a big future, so you can understand why PNE have – allegedly – been showing an interest.

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The problem for North End is that Ferguson is suddenly making a huge impact for Brighton’s first team.

Ferguson came off the bench to make a huge impression against Arsenal, scoring for Brighton in a 4-2 defeat.

The 18-year-old could have had another too having forced a smart save from Aaron Ramsdale.

Ferguson was rewarded for that performance with a start against Everton – and this was a dream evening for the teenager.

Ferguson scored Brighton’s second in a 4-1 thrashing and even set up Solly March for 3-0.

Everton FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League
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With that performance, Ferguson became the second-youngest player in Premier League history to record a goal and an assist in the same match.

The only player younger to have achieved that feat was Michael Owen, so Ferguson is in pretty esteemed company.

Ferguson is also the youngest player to score in two consecutive Premier League games since Federico Macheda for Manchester United way back in 2009.

It’s becoming clear that Ferguson is ready to make an impact for Brighton right now and he may not need that loan move after all.

Add that to Cameron Archer seemingly joining Middlesbrough and Emil Riis suffering an injury and this hasn’t been a great week for PNE’s striking hopes.

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