Last January, Liverpool fans were wrapped in a tornado of excitement over the possibility of landing a standout youth prospect from the second division. Rarely do all those words come together in a single sentence, but when it came to Will Hughes, a lot of Liverpool fans were excited.
With so many eager to have the youngster make a move to Merseyside from his current home with Derby County, theories popped up to make smooth the path for the obviously logical next step in Hughes' career. First it was the player's unabashed love for the Reds that would be enough to draw him to Anfield. Then, it was Andre Wisdom's loan spell with the Rams that would see the defender act as a one-man welcoming committee whose main function was to convince Hughes of what he was missing at Wisdom's home club. Finally, it was an alleged purchasing rights clause that Liverpool received in exchange for an extension of Wisdom's loan, which turned out to not actually be a purchasing rights clause anyway.
Sometimes a coincidence is just a coincidence, and even if any of these schemes had an underlying ulterior motive, it is all for naught because the nineteen-year-old recently signed a contract that would see him stay with Derby until 2018.
"We're pleased that Will has decided to extend his contract with Derby County for the next four years," said head coach Steve McClaren. "He is promising young talent and we’re looking forward to working with him over the next few years to help continue his development."
It's disappointing news or Liverpool fans who may have hoped to snatch the player up before other clubs had a chance, but it's also nice to see a player stick with his boyhood club for a bit longer even while much larger clubs begin to circle. Still, it can be a struggle for clubs in the lower divisions to hold on to truly talented players, and if he maintains the trajectory he's currently on, Hughes may yet find himself in the Premiere League before his new contract runs out.