England Under-21 international Will Hughes has become the latest player to commit his future to Derby County, after the 19-year-old today put pen-to-paper on a new long-term deal.
The Rams’ Academy graduate has penned fresh terms which has extended the midfielder’s contract by four years to the summer of 2018.
The news comes as a further boost for Derby after it was announced last week that Jeff Hendrick and Craig Forsyth had both penned new four-year deals, while Jake Buxton yesterday signed a new three-year contract.
Hughes’ performances in a Derby shirt last season saw him named in the PFA Championship ‘Team of the Season’ in April of this year.
Head Coach Steve McClaren said: “We’re pleased that Will has decided to extend his contract with Derby County for the next four years.
“He is promising young talent and we’re looking forward to working with him over the next few years to help continue his development.”
A product of the Derby County Academy, Hughes initially joined on schoolboy forms at the age of 11 before signing his first professional contract in March 2012.
Hughes’ form in a Derby shirt in recent seasons has earned rave reviews, since the Academy graduate made his debut for the Rams as a 90th-minute substitute in the side’s 3-2 defeat to Peterborough United in November 2011.
The 19-year-old started his first game for the Club in the final match of the 2011/12 season in a 1-1 draw at home to Peterborough, and capped off the campaign by collecting the Scholar of the Year Award.
Hughes scored his first goal for the Rams in the 5-1 win over Watford in September 2012, while two months later the midfielder was named the ‘Football League Young Player of the Month’ following a series of impressive displays.
During November 2012, Hughes made his first appearance for the England Under-21s, coming on as a 65th-minute substitute against Northern Ireland, and in doing so became the second youngest player to get capped for the Under-21s, only beaten by Theo Walcott.
He has remained a regular face in the Three Lions’ set-up ever since, under both Stuart Pearce and then Gareth Southgate.
Last season Hughes finished the campaign having made 48 first-team appearances as well as scoring five goals, while his consistent displays at the heart of the Rams’ midfield also saw him named the Sammy Crooks Young Player of the Year.