One of the English Championship’s best young talents is about to receive his chance for Premier League glory. After the switch was rumored to go through all week, Derby County youngster Will Hughes has finally put pen to paper joining Watford Football Club on a five-year deal. The undisclosed fee is said to be around £8m.
It’s about time we see this kid in the English Premier League. Clubs have been sniffing around the 22-year-old for some time now, and he’s finally settled on the one that desperately need a playmaker such as himself.
The hornets struggled with creativity in the midfield last season. They didn’t have an
attacking midfielder willing to get forward and provide chances for Troy Deeney and Stefano Okaka. Étienne Capoue, a natural defensive midfielder, seemed to hold that responsibility. The addition of Hughes allows Capoue to focus more on the defensive aspect of his game (something he’s much better at). This should see Watford looking more compact and harder to break through.
Hughes will make an immediate impact on Watford’s attack. Like I mentioned, he’ll be adding a creativity that the side severely lack. There are loads of compliments I can give the young Englishman, but we’ll start with his movement off the ball. Whenever Hughes is on the attack, he’s looking to get into space and receive possession. Because he’s so dangerous, he’ll attract a defender or two which also opens up more space for his teammates. Hughes is a genius in creating space for others with his large array of passing skills which include playing the ball in over the top of defenders, switching the point of attack and sending teammates through on goal (something I think Deeney will largely benefit from). The young man has assist written all over him. He has the potential to be the English Mesut Özil.
In addition to his absurd passing skills is the way the ball seems to stick to his feet. Having brilliant control and wonderful technical skill, Hughes is agile and quick in his dribbling. His ability to obtain possession will frustrate defenders; something he’ll certainly take advantage of.
But what I find most appealing about Hughes is his knowledge and understanding of English football. This should immediately aid him. Unlike someone such as Victor Lindelöf, Manchester United’s latest signing, it will take Hughes seemingly no time at all to adapt to the English Premier League. Not only has the young man played in the tier under the EPL his entire career, but he also possesses experience competing against sides such as Leicester City and Chelsea. Look for Hughes to make a rapid impact in Watford’s upcoming campaign. I wouldn’t be surprised if he found his way into the side’s first Starting XI against Liverpool on August 12.
While this move definitely bolsters their attack, it wouldn’t hurt Watford to capture another attacker. After losing M’Baye Niang, due to the end of his loan, a goal-hungry winger should be their next concern. Whispers that manager Marco Silva is hoping to reunite with Hull City winger Kamil Grosicki have died down, but, for fans of the club, it’s pleasing to hear they’re concerned with the attacking-wing position.
It’s a couple weeks too early to really predict where Watford will finish in the table, but the addition of Hughes in the midfield and Silva as their new manager are huge positives. One thing is certain: the hornets will be busy in the transfer window.