Watford are reportedly weighing up a bid for Championship star Will Hughes as new manager Marco Silva aims to strengthen his midfield before going into the pre-season. The Derby County star has been one of the most thrilling prospects in Championship football over the past few season, with numerous top clubs including Liverpool trying to land him.
Any concrete deal, however, hasn’t materialised for the Weybridge-born player and Silva could be the first manager to bring him to top-flight football. The 22-year-old has impressed many with his dazzling footwork in the centre of the park and is quite a regular for the England Under 21s for some time now.
Watford had a terrible second half to the season last term as they finished 17th in the League table, just six points above relegated side Hull City. The mismanagement of Italian boss Walter Mazzarri came to a halt with an absolute 5-0 humiliation by Manchester City on the final day of the season. If not for some favourable results by teams around them in the league table, they had a real threat of getting relegated last season.
In an otherwise under average squad, especially the defensive third, Watford did get some solidity with the arrival of Tom Cleverley, but with the likes of Abdoulaye Doucouré, Étienne Capoue and Ben Watson, Silva can hardly execute his tactics. The box-to-box midfielders have been of little effect both on the offence as well as defence and Silva essentially need someone who can unlock things from the deep midfield.
And Hughes could be a perfect fit by all means. At just, 22, the Under 21 English international has played a whopping 189 games for Derby so far, scoring 12 goals and assisting 18 times. He would bring chunks of experience with him, despite his nascent age. And his regular involvement in six gruelling Championship seasons with the Rams, meaning he can cope up well with the rigours of the Premier League.
Derby, however, would be more than reluctant in letting him go anytime soon. The academy product of the club had first made his debut back in 2012 when he was only 17. It was the last match of the season against Peterborough and the youngster became a fan favourite soon with his exceptional composure on the ball and superior touch and vision.
He is destined for greatness, as claimed by many, and with World Cup approaching next year, this season would be the ideal time for the player to make the next step. Watford have initiated talks over a £8 million bid and are confident of getting him.