Will Hughes’ lack of opportunities early in his Crystal Palace career does not mean he has no future at the club, according to the Sun journalist Tom Barclay.
Hughes made the move to Selhurst Park late in the summer transfer window, with the Eagles negotiating a fee which could rise to £10million to prise the midfielder away from newly-promoted Watford.
What’s the latest news involving Hughes?
Hughes played a key role as Watford sealed their return to the Premier League as he made 31 appearances in all competitions last season, scoring two goals in the process.
The 26-year-old’s performances led to interest from Newcastle United, with then-Magpies head coach Steve Bruce hoping to bolster his midfield options during the summer.
But Hughes ended up switching to Palace, with boss Patrick Vieira praising the central midfielder’s technical ability and work ethic after securing his services.
Despite Vieira’s positive appraisal, Hughes has become a forgotten man as he is yet to make his Eagles debut despite being named as a substitute on six occasions.
Hughes has not even been included in the matchday squad for the south London club’s last two fixtures against Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers, with it understood that he has suffered a minor back injury.
What has Tom Barclay said about Hughes?
Barclay insists a lack of action does not mean Palace’s late swoop for Hughes was a panic buy during the summer transfer window.
The journalist believes Hughes, who also made 187 appearances for Derby County during the early stages of his career, could still end up being a pivotal member of Vieira’s plans.
But Barclay feels the midfielder will have to continue biding his time.
He told GIVEMESPORT: “I think he’s definitely got a role to play going forward.”
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Who is keeping Hughes out of Palace’s midfield?
A big reason for that success has been Conor Gallagher, who completed a season-long loan switch from Chelsea ahead of the season getting underway.
The 21-year-old has gone on to score four goals and grab a further two assists in 11 appearances.
James McArthur has also featured heavily at the heart of Palace’s midfield, with Vieira handing the 34-year-old Scotsman the captain’s armband on six occasions.