On a day when literally everything that could have happened, did happen, it seems strange to be writing about an opposition player that didn’t even play the full 90 minutes but I think the story of Will Hughes will be remembered more than a stalemate between the Addicks and Derby County. Having said that it was a great advert for Championship football with one of the goals of the season chucked in too!
I’m not usually one to be overly fond of opposition players but in the case of 17 year old Will Hughes it’s hard not to be impressed. I had heard of him before the game but it was not until the warm up I realised who he was. He’s quite hard to miss with a flash of fair hair and the physique of just a boy playing with adults. But once the whistle went it was clear that Hughes was more than just a kid amongst men.
The Championship is a league played at such a fast pace that it is easy to get lost in the centre of midfield (as a few Charlton players have found out this season). Hughes was the only player in the middle of the park who seemed to have time on the ball and was able to pick a pass. The left footed playmaker was always looking for a forward pass and the old adage of ‘pass and move’ is not lost on the youngster. Sadly his teammates weren’t always on the same wavelength and he’s nowhere near as effective in an aerial battle.
So am I just being overly positive about an opposition player because we’ve finally got a point? Well, maybe! But possibly not, as it appears I’m not the only one who has noticed his talent. He has already been picked for the England under 21s and local papers are saying he is being watched by up to 10 Premier League sides including both Manchester clubs. There are even rumours, albeit unlikely, that the mighty Barcelona are also keeping tabs on him!
Despite not being on the same level as Xavi and Iniesta, he does play in the same mould and it would not be a surprise if he is snapped up in the coming transfer window. He is the type of player that England are crying out for and that is in such big demand in the modern game. Playing in a league when the aim for the majority of clubs and players is to make that step up to the highest level of all, it seems that Derby County have found one youngster who is definitely going to make the step up at some point. Be it with his current team or when one of the big names come knocking. So remember the name, Will Hughes, because I’m pretty sure he is the real deal!