Will Hughes is touted by many as the standout young player in the Championship this season. The Derby County man has been impressing so much during his fledgling career that it is believed a whole host of Premier League clubs will be battling it out for the youngster come January.
Manchester United and Liverpool have already been heavily linked to the midfielder’s signature and it is believed that Hughes may well have a tough decision to make between these two bitter Northern rivals.
18-year-old Hughes is a predominantly left footed midfielder whose technical ability and swiftness of thought have given him an advantage over his rivals. A superb passing range with the creative vision to match, the youngster has unsurprisingly tried to model his game on the likes of Xavi and Iniesta who are the best in these respects. 50 appearances already at the age of 18 is no mean feat, but Hughes already knows that he will have to bulk up and improve his fitness if he is to make it on the highest stage of all.
New Derby manager Steve Mclaren already appears resigned to losing this talented youngster, which speaks volumes of how good the club really think this boy is. He voiced his opinions on the youngster’s future in recent comments made to the Mail:
“Our job is to make sure he makes it. Eventually he will be too good. What we need behind that is players coming through to replace him.”
It would appear that Hughes and indeed Derby County are the ones holding all the cards over this upcoming saga. Considering the wealth of options rumoured to be available to him, which club would represent the best destination for Hughes?
Moyes has made no secret of his dislike for the January window, but times are tough and reinforcements will be required after Christmas to bolster his ailing squad. Whether you think United are on the decline or simply in a transitional phase under Moyes, they are evidently not the quite the prospect for an ambitious youngster as they once might have been. Hordes of young precocious talents have already been through the United exit doors in recent years, unable to make a name for themselves within the competitive confines of Old Trafford.
Don’t get me wrong United are still a big club, but for someone looking to develop their career it isn’t quite as enticing as you may think. Few youngsters have broken through at the club in recent times, and considering what a number of them have gone on to do you would imagine part of the blame lies with the club as well.
United have holes to plug come January, but I can’t help but think Moyes will stick to old habits and favour experience over youthful potential.
The other potential big-name suitors are Liverpool. In stark contrast to their Manchester rivals they seem to have undergone something of a rebirth under Brendan Rodgers. A recreation of his much-lauded passing game at Swansea, you could easily see someone as technically gifted as Hughes easily slotting in. Rodgers is also a manager keen to recognise the call to develop young talents, the likes of Sterling, Kelly and Wisdom have all been involved for the club in recent times. Add to this the foreign born talents of Coutinho, Aspas and Alberto and you really get a flavour of what Rodgers is looking to achieve.
Hughes ticks all the boxes for Rodgers; young, technically gifted and a passing master. Similarly Liverpool offer Hughes everything he could wish for; a club of international stature that is very much on the rise but will still offer him the first team opportunity that is so crucial to his development.
It is looking increasingly likely that the Derby County wonderkid will be making a switch of some kind come January. His current employers will be looking to sell now in order to get maximum value out of their unquestionably gifted young midfielder.
If Hughes thinks about things logically he will avoid the bright lights of Manchester and instead make the decision to join up with Rodgers at Liverpool. A decision that will define his long-term future and indeed potentially that of our national team, Hughes has a tough choice on his hands.
Where do you think is the best destination for Will Hughes?
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