The bargain alternative to £15m Liverpool target Will Hughes

Derby County stadium entrance

Derby County's latest teenage sensation Mason Bennett gave a great account of himself against Chelsea yesterday.

Will Hughes will be a very familiar name to Liverpool fans with reports last week suggesting that Brendan Rodgers’ men have secured an agreement with Derby County which gives them first option on buying the youngster.

The fee being bandied around in the written and online press ranges between the £12-15 million mark, a fee which has been questioned in terms of value, raising the question of whether Liverpool should spend that amount of cash on an 18-year-old with no top flight experience.

Derby’s FA Cup clash against Chelsea over the weekend gave us a small insight into how Hughes would get on against a well drilled Premier League giant and in all fairness, he struggled.

However, one of his Derby teammates, 17-year-old Mason Bennett, came off the bench and gave a very good account of himself on the right hand side of the attack and he’s a teenager that could definitely start appearing more and more in the rumour mill as January rolls on.

Bennett did look raw against a very experienced Chelsea defence but his pace and skill on the ball while demonstrating that pace put David Luiz and Ashley Cole on the back foot.

They are both world class defenders and Bennett made them look a little sluggish when he was able to build up some momentum and a little bit of steam.

The main difference between Hughes and Bennett, other than the positions they play, is the fact that Hughes has a lot more experience at Championship level despite the fact there is little between the pair in terms of age.

Bennett has ten appearances in the Championship this season whereas Hughes has made over 20.

While Hughes’ possible fee is justifiable to a certain extent, website transfermarkt gives Bennett a valuation of just under £500,000 which could be a very worthwhile gamble considering the glimpses of potential he showed yesterday.

Derby will surely push for more than that value - and even if they were to get 10 times that at £5 million, compared to Hughes at this stage he would be a bargain.

Watch this space because while the debate over Will Hughes’ future rolls on, you certainly haven’t heard the last of the 17-year-old looking to mimic his impact at the club.

image: © Eamon Curry

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