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Scout Report: Shane Ferguson

This is the new monthly feature where Newcastle Stats analyse the Toon Army’s most promising young players on the fringes of the first team. The player we are taking a look at this month is Shane Ferguson.

Shane Kevin Ferguson, born in Derry, 1991, is one of Newcastle’s most promising young players who has already featured in a number of first team games. Capable of playing anywhere down the left hand side, his versatility guarantees him many games this season.

Young Shane has made 18 appearances (starting 6) for the first team since his debut in August 2010, in the 3-2 win at Accrington Stanley. He made his Premier League debut as a second half substitute in the 5-0 thrashing of West Ham at home on January 5th. His Premier League debut is remembered by Toon fans for his tormenting of experienced defender Tal Ben Haim.

Fact file: Born: July 12, 1991 (age 21), Derry Height: 1.76m Weight: 65.1kg Playing positions: Defence, Midfield (left) Squad number: 31

Having represented Northern Ireland at every level, he is now regarded as an integral part of the country’s future. He scored his first senior international goal against Finland last month in a 3-3 draw. Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill has said he regards the youngster as one of the country’s brightest talents to emerge for years.

Strange facts:

  • As well as football, he was also a keen Gaelic football player. However after finishing his GCSEs, he was offered a scholarship with Newcastle Academy, meaning he had to give up playing the Gaelic game.
  • He was put on a strict steak and milk diet by Alan Pardew when the manager first took over at Newcastle.

His time in Newcastle’s first team squad has been blighted by injury and the 12/13 season is a big year for him. If he stays clear of the treatment room, he will be a regular in the club’s Europa League campaign. The young winger has already showcased many of his key attributes. He is a nippy player, who is excellent at dribbling. He wowed the Geordie faithful with a fantastic run at Stoke in March 2011, showing off a range of skills.

Key stats:

  1. Despite playing 14 times in the League for Newcastle’s first team, Ferguson has only had two shots on target.
  2. Due to injury, he did not make a single start for Newcastle in last season’s Premier League. However he did make seven substitute appearances.
  3. He has not yet recorded an assist for his club or senior national team.

Our verdict:

Shane currently fits into the squad very well. His versatility is sure to see him appear in Europa League games regularly and may see him involved in Premier League games when the squad is stretched around Christmas. A good season staying injury free will put him in a position to challenge the first eleven. With the forever uncertainty surrounding the future of Davide Santon, he could find himself a regular at left back in the years to come.

He has shown great potential in games and still has four years left on his current contract. At the age of 21, he is at a crucial stage in his career and if Newcastle find themselves out of European competition by Christmas, a loan move to a championship club in January may prove effective.

Alan Pardew recently had this to say:

“This year I think is a year for the younger players to break through. Now, if they don’t break through, I might take a different policy next year, but it is a great opportunity to break through with all the games we’ve got.”

“But the Fergusons, the Ameobis, the Vuckics, Rob Elliot, Remie Streete, Tavernier – they’ve got to make their move, this is the year to make it.”

He has the talent to become a good player but there’s one burning question of every Toon fans lips – can he stay fit? If he does, the Toon Army have a great prospect on their hands, and fans can look forward to seeing more from him in the 12/13 season.

Current ability: 5.5/10  – certainly not first team standard but can be utilised effectively as cover. As an impact sub his pace and flair could prove to be a game changer.

Potential: 7.5/10 – if he lives up to hype he could certainly become a Premier League standard player. Hopes are definitely high he’ll wear the black and white shirt for years to come.

Next month, we review Haris Vuckic.

Thank you to Newcastle Stats for the article.

About Harry Savill (Editor) (418 Articles)
I am the Editor of 'The Spectator's View'. I set up the website so that I could combine my two passions: Newcastle United and writing, and I hope for it to be a platform where fans can express their views on the club. History Graduate from Durham University. Junior Account Executive at M&C Saatchi.

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