Friday, January 21, 2022

Aston Villa Keeping A Keen Eye On This Watford Midfielder: What Will He Bring To Villa Park?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

The Daily Express has recently reported that Aston Villa are keeping a keen eye on Watford midfielder Will Hughes this summer. It is believed that the Villans are looking to strengthen their midfield options for the new campaign by adding the Hornets star during this summer transfer window (via The Daily Express).

Hughes’ Solid Season At Vicarage Road

It was an impressive campaign for Hughes in English football as he managed to establish himself as a key member of the Watford midfield. The English talent registered two goals in 31 matches for his current employers last season in various competitions.

The 26-year-old managed to transform himself into a decent holding midfielder at Vicarage Road after averaging 1.9 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 1.0 clearances per 90 minutes in the EFL Championship. He was also careful when distributing possession from midfield, as evidenced by his pass success rate of 84.1% in the English second division (stats via whoscored).

Hughes’ current contract with Watford expires at the end of next season, so the Hornets would have no choice but to cash in on him or else risk losing him as a free agent next year. Hence, the Villans are in a good position to land the English sensation if they are willing to make a cut-price move for him this summer.

Aston Villa keeping a keen eye on Will Hughes who is seen in the photo
1st May 2021 Brentford Community Stadium, London, England English Football League Championship Football, Brentford FC versus Watford Will Hughes of Watford warming up PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK ActionPlus12285009 JohnxPatrickxFletcher

What Will The Watford Midfielder Bring To Villa Park?

Hughes can anchor the midfield relatively well as he can get stuck in with a few tackles to earn possession back for his side. He has developed the ability to react to the danger quickly and doesn’t take too many chances with his clearances at the back. Hughes has often been unleashed as a box-to-box midfielder in the recent past but can also operate as a winger out on either flank if required.

The English midfield ace is a tidy passer of the ball but can benefit a lot from improving his productivity in the attacking end of the field. He is yet to prove his worth in the English top-flight, so the jury is still out on whether he can maintain his high standards at Villa Park if Smith decides to move in for him before the start of the new campaign.

We can expect Hughes to bring a lot of bite and steel to Smith’s midfield and could go on to form a dominant partnership with John McGinn in the coming seasons. At 26, the Weybridge-born player has already entered his prime, so an experienced man-manager like Smith could be the ideal candidate to get the best out of Hughes over the next few years.

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