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Charlton Athletic v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship

Can Everton Land This Highly Rated English Midfielder?

There might be some ray of sunshine at last for Everton after yet another defeat against Swansea this season as the highly rated midfielder, Will Hughes, who has been a long time Merseyside target has rejected a contract extension with Derby County.

As per reports, Derby boss Steve McClaren is keen to tie down the England U21 international for the future but the terms offered did not meet Hughes’ expectations. He is under contract with the Championship club until the summer of 2018 but has reportedly rejected the offer to sign a long-term deal. The Rams academy product is valued at around £15million.

The 21-year-old talented midfielder has been repeatedly linked with Liverpool over the past few seasons but it never took place and Ronald Koeman might just be able to land him at Goodison Park in January.

Although Hughes is very young (21), he has already played 150 games. He was linked to Liverpool multiple times during the Brendan Rodgers era when he was only 18. He had even revealed his love for the club. And it was only fair given the player’s meteoric rise to stardom at Derby County.

He made his debut for the first team when he was just 17 in April 2012 in the final game of the season against Peterborough and quickly garnered applauds for his touch, control, and vision. His composure on the ball earned him quite a lot of fans.

Hughes became a first-team regular for Derby and played 38, 48 and 42 games across the subsequent three seasons, during which period he was also called up for England under 21s. However, his progress was shortened by a horrific injury which made him miss almost all of the 2015-16 season. He had damaged his anterior cruciate ligament which needed surgery to repair.

However, he is now back for Derby this season and although he has not scored any goals this season, he has created 21 chances and two assists. Hughes has completed 561 passes this season with a pass accuracy of 81%, of which 71% were forward passes. His average passing accuracy is 81% and he wins 54% of average duels.

Everton have the likes of Idrissa Gueye and Gareth Barry in the midfield and Hughes is definitely a long-term prospect, but his ability on the ball can easily make him a star in the Premier League. Everton are going through a rough patch currently and are really fortunate to still hold on their 7th position in the league. It’s likely that they will strengthen again come January.

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