After six years and 189 appearances, Will Hughes left Derby County to pursue a career in the Premier League. The problem? His new parent club change their manager at the start of every week, and finished a disappointing 17th place, in what was a frustrating season for the fans.
The 22-year-old midfielder has officially departed his boyhood club in a move that has left Derby fans emotional and Hornet supporters twitchy with excitement. In a move that is speculated to be worth just over £7.5m, Hughes will finally get his opportunity to line up against the Premier League’s finest, and rightly so.
— Watford FC (@WatfordFC) June 24, 2017
Having played first-team football in the Championship since the 2011, and obtained 27 England caps at U17 and U21 level, the move up in class should hardly come as a surprise to many. It was only a matter of time.
Is it going to be a season of paradise for Hughes in 2017/18?
Watford have spent the previous two seasons in the Premier League, but it has hardly been plain sailing for the Hertfordshire club.
The main issue concerning supporters, is the lack of stability when it comes to managerial leadership. Despite winning automatic promotion in 2015 under Slavisa Jokanovic, failure to reach new contractual agreements meant the club began their new campaign in the top flight under Spaniard Quique Sánchez Flores.
The former Getafe boss took the Hornets to a comfortable mid-table finish and the semi-finals of the FA Cup, yet once again it was announced on 13 May 2016 that Flores would leave at the end of the season.
Que Walter Mazzarri…
In what can only be considered to be one of the most hostile and distasteful seasons when manager-supporter relationships are concerned, Watford limped home in 17th place. As tradition seems to state, Mazzarri left the post in May 2017.
When a club is suffering constant negative developments, it is difficult for a player to consider and commit to a move. Will Hughes’ may, however, have been enticed by the prospect of working under new Hornets boss Marco Silva. The new coach has a reputation for bringing the best out of struggling teams, and in particular working with youngsters with high levels of potential. If Hughes can blossom under a stable Silva management, who knows what the future may hold for the midfielder.
Silva has clearly envisioned a partnership with Hughes for years to come, with his new contract set over a five years. Even if he plays the entirety of the deal, he will only be 27, and could potentially leave for a sizeable fee which would benefit both club and player.
This, of course, is all speculation; ifs, buts and maybes only reveal so much. Only time will tell if Watford can deliver what Will Hughes needs, and Marco Silva will be key to this. Under the right mentoring, Hughes can become a club legend like Troy Deeney.