It seems like almost every weekend a new Premier League team is reported to have an interest in signing Derby County's Will Hughes, and if he continues to impress then it won't be long before every major European side has a look at him as well.
Manchester City are the latest club rumoured to be interested in signing Hughes, who has made 30 appearances already this season. To have played so many matches already is an indication of the talent the 17 year old has shown, but it is also a demonstration of the backing he has been given by Derby, and it's unlikely he will receive similar support elsewhere.
The likes of Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal all have fantastic facilities and give a young player a brilliant opportunity to develop either through youth team matches or loan spells, but none of them would be able to give him the first team action that Derby can. It's rare for a youngster to be given such an extended spell in a Championship first team, and Hughes should be wary of giving that up for a move to a Premiership giant.
At 17 he has plenty of time to make that move later on his life, and he could arrive in the Premier League with a couple of full seasons at Derby under his belt. The perfect example to follow could be Wilfried Zaha.
Zaha broke into the Crystal Palace first team at a very young age and was immediately linked with a host of top clubs. Instead of moving he stayed at Palace and has become an excellent player under their guidance. Zaha now has far more options available to him, and if he does move now he would have a better claim to first team action at any side he went to.
Hughes could stay at Derby for another three years and really round off some of the edges in his game. The risk for him could be that he doesn't develop as planned, and ends up never making the step up to the Premier League.
However it's far more likely that he could spend several years in the wilderness if he does move now, and spending that time playing first team football for Derby is surely a better option.
image: © eamoncurry