Watford have signed the of England U21 midfielder Will Hughes from Derby County. The 22-year-old Hughes has been in the Liverpool’s radar for few seasons, but the Reds didn’t submit a bid for him. Manchester United, Newcastle United, Everton and even Barcelona have also been tracking the player for quite some time. Now he signed a 5-year contract at Vicarage Road, as Watford are believed to have paid up to £8 million for him. The versatile midfielder has debuted for Derby County at age of 16 and became a regular started for the Rams.
Will Hughes is one of the important players for the England’s U21 team, which qualified for the semi-final at the European Under-21 Championships in Poland.
“I’m massively excited. When it first came out that I was linked, I spoke to my agent and it’s been a slow process but I’m very relieved now. I have played against Watford many a times in the Championship and I’ve always enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to a new challenge now, especially in the Premier League”, said Hughes in an interview for WatfordFC.com. He has also added that he felt good to play in the Championship for so long and despite that he would have like to get promoted to the English top-flight with Derby County, the chance to join a Premier League team was “too hard to turn down”.
Hughes described his playing style as a ball-player, but also said that his main strength being creativity.
“I think a lot of people have got a perception of me of just being a ball-player, but having played in the Championship for five years you have got to do a lot more than that. I think I bring both sides to my game, with my main strength being creativity. I’m looking to score a lot more goals than I have previously and to set up lots of chances too.”
Last season, in an interview with Telegraph Sport Will Hughes said that some players in Premier League are happy to wish careers away on bench, but this is not something he wants for himself. He has always wanted to play regularly and this was one of the reasons, not to force his move to Premier League. The England’s U21 midfielder has used some irony to describe the transfer rumors, which has been going on around him for many years.
“I’ve been linked with every team under the sun since I was 16 but I haven’t really wanted to go anywhere. I feel like a veteran already and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
He has explained that he thinks that he took it for granted, playing so many games so young. ”
“You look at players in the Premier League at big teams, turning 20, 21, and not getting a sniff. I think some of them are happy now to pick up the money, sit on the bench for the under-23s, wish their career away. I couldn’t think of anything worse. Some players are comfortable sitting on the bench but I don’t like that at all”, said the ambitions young English star, who has played in the championship between 2011 and 2017, scoring 12 times in 187 games for the Rams.
John Percy, who interviewed Will Hughes for The Telegraph said about him that if someone spends half an hour in Hughes’s company, will find out that he is not an average footballer. Percy describes him as “refreshingly honest, mature beyond his 21 years and clearly intelligent”, and says that he must be “one of the only professional footballers to have been educated at Repton, the nearby boarding school that has produced three Archbishops of Canterbury”. The reporter adds that Hughes was studying for his A-levels, when he received the call from Nigel Clough, who told him that he will be on the bench for Derby County in the away game against at Peterborough United, at the age of 16.
“There is life after football, it is a short career”, explains Will Hughes and adds that, one day he will hopefully go into business, one way or another. Well, this would be within 10 years or even more. If he manages to avoid injuries, he be playing for another decade, hopefully at the highest possible level, starting from August 2017. We’d expect him to score some goals and to make important assistances for Watford next season.