Why Will Hughes Would Be A Great Signing For Newcastle United
Rafa the Gaffer has started his summer rebuild at Newcastle and the central midfield area is one he is very eager to strengthen.
With Mo Diame often needing to be out of position, Jack Colback considered not good enough for the Premier League and Vurnon Anita having now been released, Newcastle only have Jonjo Shelvey and the inexperienced Isaac Hayden left as deeper lying central midfield players.
As well as this, there was an obvious over-reliance on Shelvey’s passing to get Newcastle moving forward last term in the Championship and Rafa knows very well that this cannot be the case by the time the Premier League kicks off in August.
With that in mind, the £6.8million rated Hughes wouldn’t be as silly a signing as it would appear at first glance. Starting all of his 42 games last season in the middle of the park, Hughes finished the campaign with a pass completion rate of nearly 83%. He played 1.1 key passes per game which resulted in 3 assists for his side and managed to chip in with 2 goals as well.
With 1 interception, 2.7 tackles and 0.6 clearances per match on average, it’s clear that Hughes’ defensive abilities are good. His reputation upon getting into the Derby team some years ago was such, that he was labelled as an England player for the future and while that hasn’t happened, he still has the ability.
Sometimes, as is the case I believe with Ayoze Perez, some players can be more suited to the Premier League than they are to the Championship, despite the supposed step up in class. Given Hughes’ style, this could very well be the case and I’m certain Rafa Benitez would not look twice at the boy if he thought the quality was not there.
Another way to look at it though is that he is arguably better than Jack Colback, and the name of the game for Newcastle right now is improvement. Some new players will be a huge step up, while others will just be that few percent better but as long as they are adding quality, Rafa would know that he is inching towards his goals.
Hughes may well have a resurgence in his development if he joins a top club and a top manager. So this move, while it is obviously good for the player, may also be good for Newcastle and I wouldn’t be against it.