Roberto Martinez has backed former Dundee United favourite Duncan Ferguson to play a major coaching role for Everton during the rest of the season and believes the Toffees cult hero could go on to become a top manager.
Ferguson, who left Tannadice for Rangers in a £4m deal in 1993, has been promoted to Martinez’s first-team coaching staff on a permanent basis.
The 42-year-old former Scotland international has spent the last two and a half years working with the club’s under-18s, while his role this season has also included one day a week with the first team.
Martinez said: “He’s developing into a really exciting coach. He’s been a big influence in the work he’s done with the under-18s and I do feel we need his influence in the first-team environment.
“He’s an Evertonian and he’s going to be a big part of the first-team staff from now until the end of the season.”
Ferguson described the opportunity as “a dream come true”.
He said: “Everyone knows what this club and the supporters mean to me and if the manager thinks I can make a contribution then I am delighted to do so. There’s a lot to play for it’s exciting times.”
Ferguson would appear to be another who has benefited from the influence of former Dundee United manager Jim McLean.
Ferguson’s former Tannadice team-mate Miksu Paatelainen recently hailed McLean as a coaching “genius” and said the years he spent under the fiery Scot’s command helped him become a coach and manager.