Evan Ferguson can become “the top scorer in Europe” according to Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi, who admits it would be “normal” if the club eventually sold him.

Ferguson became just the fourth teenager to score a Premier League hat-trick when dismantling Newcastle in Brighton’s 3-1 win. The 18-year-old has now scored eight goals in his last eight starts as Brighton looked to have unearthed another gem of a player.

De Zerbi said: “I’m happy for him [Ferguson] today, not just for the goals. Pleased for his performance, especially in first half. He found the right positions. Newcastle defended 4-4-1, and there was space for him. He understood where the space was. He is working to complete his qualities.

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Roberto De Zerbi said Brighton rightly deserved to beat Newcastle 3-1 and hailed the victory as one of the best of his career

“He can become big, big, big. His qualities are enough to become a great player. He can become one of the best, the top scorer in Europe. He was born in 2004, he’s 18. I don’t know how many players are young, that score like him.”

Outgoing players have generated Brighton £198.7m in transfer fees in this transfer window with three players departing for fees of £25m upwards – Moises Caicedo (£115m), Alexis Mac Allister (£55m) and Robert Sanchez (£25m).

When asked if big clubs will be looking at Ferguson, De Zerbi said: “It’s normal for Brighton to sell players. Important thing for Brighton is not to keep but to find the replacement. This is right work we need to do.”

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Brighton’s win against Newcastle in the Premier League

Ferguson: It’s a good day!

Evan Ferguson speaking to Sky Sports:

“It is fresh so it is hard to take in as a kid you want to score as many goals in the Premier League, so when you score a hat-trick it is a good day.

“It is good [result], bad result last week [loss against West Ham] and we needed to bounce back we came out flying this week and we got that good luck in the end.

“I didn’t know if I was going to be offside or not, you have just got to try finish it.

“I think it is hard when you’re in training to position yourself sometimes you have got to try sniff it out.

“It is one of them you have got to ready for it at all times, first half I could have turned and drove a bit more so first one I got I tried to run at them and take a shot.”

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