England’s under-19s were sent crashing out of the European Championships yesterday in extraordinary fashion. They were thrashed by their French counterparts 5-0. It could have been more, with France having 22 shots on goal compared to England’s two.
For West Brom defender Nathan Ferguson it was a tough day at the office. The 17-year-old was handed his first appearance of the tournament against arguably the best opposition.
It was a struggle for the young Baggies talent from the start. The French attacking triumvirate of Moussa Diaby, Nabil Alioui and Myziane Maolida are all 19. That extra experience saw them outhink and outfight the West Brom youngster. It was certainly a humbling experience for the player, who was dragged off at half-time.
But West Brom still have a talent on their hands and Ferguson should remain positive about his future.
“He’s a young player I heard about when I arrived and I spoke to the staff and asked who was outstanding, the best player not signed to a professional contract.
“His name was on almost everyone’s lips and it took me about two and a half minutes [to make up my mind].”
He was thrown to the lions slightly in this game, facing players of the highest calibre he has probably yet faced in his career. In fairness, there is no shame in his display.
But he is already a regular for West Brom’s under-23s and can have a great future at the club, especially under the guidance of another central defender in West Brom boss Darren Moore.
It will not be a surprise to see him in and around the first-team for cup games this season.