Watford have signed Derby’s Will Hughes for a reported initial fee of £4.5 million. The midfielder arrives at Vicarage Road on a new five-year deal after six season with Derby.
Now 22, Hughes had been at Derby for the last six seasons. He famously made his senior team debut at the age of 16, and since playing his first match, Hughes had drawn interest from a variety of Premier League clubs. Hughes only cost Watford £4.5m, but Derby will receive add-ons from the Premier League team that will take the final price up to £8m.
Hughes’ passing in midfielder should be an upgrade for the Hornets as the team will be overseen by new manager Marco Silva next term. Hughes’ small price tag in the current transfer climate should be seen as a coup for Watford.
In an interview following the transfer, Derby coach Kevin Phillips spoke about Hughes in the Premier League.
“I am sure Will will be suited for the Premier League. He has moved on and we will move on. The manager is not afraid to make decisions which is right,” Phillip said.
“I think what you have to do is find players in the Championship who are quite robust and can go Saturday to Tuesday and again. Statistically if you look at teams who win the Championship they don’t make many changes.
“So that is what Gary is trying to do; to get a team to play week in, week out, it is very difficult because everyone is looking for those players.”
Will Hughes 2016-17 key stats:
- 2 goals in 38 Championship matches
- 3 assists in 38 Championship matches
- 1.1 key passes per league match
- 10 yellow cards in 38 Championship matches