Islam Feruz

Scotland U21s
  • DATE OF BIRTH

    10 September 1995
  • BIRTHPLACE

    Mogadishu, Somalia
  • Position

    Forward

A diminutive and pacey striker, Islam Feruz arrived at Chelsea from Celtic in the summer of 2011 and grabbed attention almost immediately as he led the line up front for our FA Youth Cup side while still an Under-16, scoring six goals in eight games as Adi Viveash’s side went on to win the competition.

His exploits in the league campaign were equally impressive, with 12 goals in 21 appearances, including a strike on his debut against Portsmouth in October. That form was rewarded with an Under-21 debut against Arsenal in December 2011 and he went on to hit two goals against Norwich the following month.

After then he featured predominantly for the Under-21s over the two years of his scholarship, capable of leading the line up front, supporting from out wide or dropping slightly deeper in the ‘No.10’ role. His goalscoring continued to mark him out as a good prospect, with 2012/13 producing 18 goals in 28 games, including seven in nine NextGen Series matches. He was the competition’s joint-top goalscorer following strikes against Barcelona, Arsenal and Juventus.

Short but sharp with an electric turn of pace and able to get a shot in early, Feruz started the 2013/14 season with three goals in the opening three Under-21 league games and he contributed strongly to an eventual league triumph. He scored the opener in our semi-final play-off victory over Manchester City, before supplying for Lewis Baker’s winner at Old Trafford in the final.

On transfer deadline day at the start of September 2014 it was announced he would spend the season on loan at Greek top-flight side OFI Crete, managed at that stage by former Italy and AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso.

On 16 January 2015, he joined Championship side Blackpool on loan and on 1 September 2015 he moved back to Scotland for a loan at Hibernian. He returned to Chelsea in January 2016 and was then loaned to Belgian side Royal Mouscron in the summer. He made eight appearances there before switching to join League One Swindon Town on loan in January 2017, along with fellow Blues Charlie Colkett and Fankaty Dabo. He made four appearances there.

Feruz has regularly featured for Scottish national sides above his age group, playing in the Under-16 Victory Shield at the age of just 13 and he became the country’s youngest ever Under-21 international a month after his Under-17 debut in March 2012. After being called up for the Under-19s for the game against Switzerland in October 2012, he scored a hat-trick in a 4-3 win.