Steve McClaren has hardly been in the role of head coach of Derby County, yet again the national press is again reporting that Premier League big clubs are again ready to bid for highly rated youngster Will Hughes.
So what about Hughes? How good is he really? Is he over hyped? Is he worth the reported £12m-plus?
Well as in most cases it’s a matter of opinion. I have seen every minute, every kick, every tackle of his short career and will answer the following.
First of all, at this stage of his career, I would state that Will Hughes is definately ahead of whee Tom Huddlestone was at the same age.
He is definately gifted. He reads the game well and when he has a bad game, he still usually does something of note in the game. I am prepared to say that he was the best ever 16-year-old I ever saw in a Derby shirt, although we haven’t had that many. The last part of the statement is testament to his progress.
Is he overhyped? Yes, maybe he is! But it’s journalists and fans who are hyping him up. Many players are overhyped! This includes many so called superstars.
Is he worth £12m-plus? No of course not! No player is! The transfer market has gone stupid. But I will say he’s worth every penny that Wilfred Zaha is. Zaha is likely to cost Manchester United £15m if he does blossom into a star player.
It’s fair to say that a lot of criticism of Hughes has come from Nottingham. Will was a Reds schoolboy player before moving to Derby and eventually joining their academy.
He hasn’t had the best of his games in the big local derby with our red rivals, but many players have failed to hit the headlines in this clash and some of them established internationals.
At the end of the day, teams will bid what they think Will is worth. It’s the coaches with the technical know how of the game who are best placed to judge a prospect rather than the 25,000 managers sat in the stands.