Liverpool may regret not signing under-21 starlet

Derby County

Derby County boss Nigel Clough has used the club’s Twitter account to suggest there won’t be any deal for young starlet Will Hughes today.

The 18-year-old has quickly formed a reputation for himself as one of the most talented youngsters in English football, a regular for Derby County and already having a major impact with the England Under-21 side.

His skill, charisma and the impact he’s already had on English football led to heavy speculation that he could be on the move this summer, with Liverpool the touted destination.

Liverpool have arguably the best setup in the country when it comes to investing in and developing younger players, with Brendan Rodgers showing no fear in terms of blooding younger players into his first team at early ages.

However, it’s a move which may not happen today and that could backfire on Liverpool in a big way if they were toying with the idea of making a £15 million offer for the youngster.

Derby County Tweet

Hughes is at a club where he’s assured of first team football which means he is always going to have a platform to perform on as he develops into a stronger, more consistent and more mature player.

If Hughes can not only maintain the form he’s already shown with Derby but improve on it, the number of big Premier League sides interested in him is only going to increase.

Derby will stress the value of him staying with the Championship side, looking to break into the Premier League naturally with his current club but the temptation of a big Premier League offer may be too big for him to resist.

Liverpool can’t allow too many big sides to become interested in him because it reduces their chances of getting him further down the line.

It could be the case that Rodgers isn’t convinced he’d be worth the investment at this stage but his age suggests he’s a gamble worth taking. After all, Liverpool could always loan him back to Derby upon buying him.

The danger is that his price and value is only going to go up and that could see Liverpool ultimately priced out of the equation to buy him.

To a certain extent Liverpool have dispelled the myth that they are a side which can no longer afford to pay big money for transfers because collectively they have paid tens of millions for players in the current transfer window.

However, the Ashley Williams saga from earlier in the summer shows that the board often reviews, and in that case questions, the value of transfers and if the eventual fee for Hughes runs into the tens of millions, it may be a deal that Rodgers can’t get beyond the board.

Liverpool won’t be the only side with one eye on Hughes, but they are one of the only sides who have had that interest reported very publicly.

Every indication is that Hughes is going to turn out to be a very special player and if Liverpool are passing up the chance to sign him now, that’s something they could well regret.

What do you think? Should Liverpool have been prepared to gamble today?

images: © Twitter; Derby County FC, © eamoncurry

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