CLOUGH’S HAPPY AS HUGHES SIGNS UP
WILL Hughes’s new contract at Derby will be the first of many according to boss Nigel Clough, who also hopes his young star may be back from injury before the end of the season.
The midfielder turned 18 earlier this month and immediately signed a one-year extension to his deal – keeping him at Pride Park until 2016.
Despite his young age, the England U21 international has become a key figure for the Rams and made 35 appearances before a groin injury struck in February.
But despite interest from a number of Premier League clubs, Clough insists his longterm future remains with Derby.
“It’s great news, for us and him, that Will’s signed another contract,” said Clough.
“It’s an agreement we had with him from earlier in the season that when he turned 18, he’d get another year on his contract.
“He’s delighted. He’s getting a well-deserved pay rise, a small one, but hopefully in the next year we’ll get him tied down for even longer if we can.
“Will is the sort of lad you want to build the team around and it’s an important time to get contracts sorted with players who we want here for next season and beyond.
“We know there’s going to be interest in him, that’s obvious, especially when he’s playing again regularly next season.
“Given the experiences he’s had this season, we think he’ll be an even better player come August.
“Will is coming on well from his injury. He’s actually healed quicker than we thought he would.
“We now have to weigh up whether or not to put him back on the pitch before the end of the season.
“He’s been out for eight weeks so it’s been a little while, but it would be lovely to get him out there again.
“We’ll assess how he feels and what we think as well, but we have to make sure he’s right because having him ready for the first game of next season is a priority.”
STAYING: Will Hughes