Championship: Derby County boss Nigel Clough expects big clubs to come calling for Will Hughes
Nigel Clough expects a number of big clubs to step up their interest in Derby midfielder Will Hughes.
Last Updated: 04/08/13 3:22pm
The highly-rated 18-year-old caught the eye last season as he broke into the Rams' first team, with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Barcelona sending scouts to Pride Park to watch the youngster.
Derby kick off their Championship campaign at home to Blackburn on Sunday, which is live on Sky Sports, and Clough sees Hughes as having a key part to play in their season.
"I expect Will to pick up where he left off last season, and if he does that then there will inevitably be more interest in him from the top, top clubs," said Clough.
"And in a way, we hope there is that interest because it would mean he is playing well for us.
"We are excited about seeing quite a few of the players this season but him more than anybody, really, after what he did for 30-odd games last season before his injury.
"He looks in good shape now and he has looked good in pre-season. He has got his A-Levels out of the way now, which is good news because now he can just concentrate on his football, and he looks strong."
Clough added: "The England U21s should hopefully come around for him again this season if he plays well enough. But he is bright enough to know that if he keeps on doing it week in, week out for Derby then it will all follow on from there.
"We just expect him to carry on that form from last season and to improve as well.