Player profile: Will Hughes, midfielder, Derby

Will Hughes could soon be on his way to the Premier League. Photo: PA

Name: Will Hughes

Position: Centre midfield

Born: 1995

Club: Derby County

Country: England

One of the great pleasures of a football fan is seeing a youngster come through their club's youth team ranks, and making an impression on the first team - Will Hughes is currently someone putting a smile on the faces of the Pride Park faithful.

Having joined Derby aged just 13, the strikingly blond midfielder has had a meteoric rise, becoming one of the best players in the Championship.

The skinny teenager has spent the majority of his short time as a professional operating centrally in Nigel Clough's midfield, with a desire to drive forward into the final third, but can also play on the left wing.

In an era where English midfielders have been strong and powerful, Hughes' game is more based on his delightful technique and passing ability.

Making his debut at just 16, Hughes was always destined for big things, with Derby the perfect grounding for a player such as himself, especially considering manager Clough had similar characteristics in his playing style, so knows how to utilise one of him main assets.

His ability to speed up play, and set up a chance has made him vital to Derby's success, but he will need to improve on his two goals in 34 appearances, if he is to fulfil his potential and become the complete midfielder.

Hughes seems more willing to set up others, rather than take the risk of having a shot himself, so will need to learn how to be more selfish when in range of the opposition goal.

What he certainly does the possess is the vision to find others in space, and how to make intelligent runs himself, both of which have caused havoc within Championship defences.

Even with these minor flaws, plenty of Premier League clubs have lined up the 18-year-old as an addition to their roster, with Manchester City and Newcastle both considering summer bids for the England Under-21 international, but Derby hope they will get another season out of him.

I have seen some good players at 17. I saw Jack Wilshere at 18 and played with him. Will is a breath of fresh air.

– Derby County goalkepeer Frank Fielding
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If Derby keep Will Hughes they'll get promotion this year, Johnny Russell is sick!

Hughes has also been recognised at international level. Credit: PA