Irish footballer Evan Ferguson has been named on the 25-player shortlist for the Golden Boy Award, a prestigious award given to the best European-based footballer who is under the age of 21. 

Ferguson, 18, enjoyed a breakout season at Brighton & Hove Albion last season, scoring ten goals in all competitions.

He has already scored four Premier League goals for Brighton this season, including a magnificent hat-trick against Newcastle United at the beginning of September, becoming just the fourth teenager in Premier League history to score three goals in the same game. 

The Irish striker has also scored twice in six appearances for the Boys in Green, scoring in the 3-2 win over Latvia in March and in a 3-0 win against Gibraltar last June. 

He has scored 12 goals for club and country in 2023 and is likely to add several more goals by the end of the year. 

Ferguson is set to lead the line for Ireland as they take on Greece at Dublin's Aviva Stadium on Friday night. 

Ferguson's exploits in 2023 saw him named on the 100-player shortlist for the Golden Boy in June, which was whittled down to 25 players on Thursday. 

Ferguson faces stiff competition for the prestigious award, with Real Madrid's Jude Bellingham the red-hot favorite to win the award. 

Bayern Munich's Jamal Musiala and Manchester United's Rasmus Hojlund are also nominated for the award after a series of eye-catching performances in 2023. 

In the unlikely event that Ferguson pips Bellingham to win the award, he will join a prestigious list of winners, including Lionel Messi (2005), Wayne Rooney (2004), Kylian Mbappe (2017), and Erling Haaland (2020). 

The winner of the Golden Boy Award is decided by journalists' vote, with each judge giving 10 points to their first pick, seven for second, five for third, three for fourth, and one for fifth. 

The winner will be announced at an award ceremony in Turin on December 4.