Manager Nigel Clough believes teenager Will Hughes will benefit from Derby stay
Talented teenager Will Hughes should continue his development at Derby, according to Rams boss Nigel Clough.
Last Updated: 15/11/12 11:50am
The 17-year-old midfielder has been watched by scouts of all the top Premier League clubs this season, including champions Manchester City.
He got a taster of playing at the next level when he made his debut for the England Under-21 side on Tuesday night, becoming the second youngest player to represent the Young Lions, but Clough believes the best place to continue his development is with Derby.
"There are not too many 17-year-olds playing week in, week out with his ability in the Championship - or anywhere - and we think he is good enough to go to the next level," said Clough. "Sometimes players leave for bigger clubs and get lost in the system, playing in reserve matches, which isn't the same, and they don't play first team football as often anymore.
"But I think Will understands that as well. The best possible thing for him at the moment is to stay with us, get a season or two under his belt in the Championship and just keep learning and improving."
Clough added: "We have still got to be careful with Will because he has played only 16 or 17 games, so it is still very early in his career. It is important he keeps his feet on the ground and that he keeps performing week in, week out. But he is level-headed and intelligent enough to do that."