With Premier League teams clamouring for English players to fill up their home-grown quota, it would be no surprise that Manchester United have been linked with a promising young English talent.
This time, it is midfielder Will Hughes of Derby County who has hit the headlines and the youngster could be a worthy investment for Jose Mourinho.
Hughes has been ever-present for Derby over the last few years, making over 100 appearances, before missing six months of last season after injuring his anterior cruciate ligament on the opening game.
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It was a tough blow for the youngster who bounced back to help in the latter parts of the season and in the playoffs, but even his terrific display against Hull City in the second leg couldn’t help lift his beaten side over the line.
In that match, he simply ran the show for the Rams. His eight successful dribbles were double that of anyone else on the pitch, he had an 84% pass success rate and consistently wanted the ball so that he could be the driving force that almost instigated a miraculous comeback.
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The 21-year-old replicates all you need from a centre midfielder. He’s creative enough to produce a killer pass, he will work hard to get stuck in when needed, and isn’t afraid to dominate the game with the ball at his feet to dictate the pace.
His close ball control is superb, using it to great effect when dribbling at players and can shift things up a gear by playing tidy one-touch football.
He can occasionally be a little reckless in the tackle, he’s weak in the air, and he needs to improve his goal tally, having never scored more than five goals in a campaign.
Saying that, he has plenty of first team experience having only just turned 21 in April and has all the talent to become a future international footballer, as he has represented the under-21s on 17 occasions already.
Is Hughes ready for the Manchester United first team this season? Not yet. He is, however, a solid fit under the systems they are wanting to play, whether that's part of a three-man or two-man midfield or he even can be deployed in the number 10 role behind the striker.
What is clear is he needs to make the jump from the Championship, even if that means United decide to let him out on loan in the Premier League next season.
That will only benefit both parties as Mourinho's men secure an exciting English player while Hughes makes another step in his progression as a footballer.
Would Will Hughes make a good impact at Manchester United? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!
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