Red and Blue View: Will Hughes makes £10m Crystal Palace man look so much better


Red and Blue View: Will Hughes makes £10m Crystal Palace man look so much better


So, it’s almost official. Subject to a medical and an agreement over personal terms, Will Hughes will become a Crystal Palace player.

The Watford midfielder’s contract ends in June 2022, and he has refused a new £60,000-a-week deal at Vicarage Road in order to try a new challenge.

It looks like that challenge will come at Selhurst Park, after The Athletic revealed we’ve agreed a £6m fee with the Hornets.

So, what will Hughes bring to Patrick Vieira’s squad?

Composure, durability and versatility

Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

There’s no doubt about it, we’re getting a bargain here.

For just £6m, Dougie Freedman has found a classy midfielder right in the midst of his prime years at 26.

Hughes will bring plenty of composure to our midfield, having registered a pass success rate of 84.1% across 30 Championship outings last season.

Crucially, he’s quite a durable player too, something we’re desperate for given our tendency to pick up injuries.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

As Transfermarkt shows, Hughes hasn’t suffered an injury since 2019.

Last but not least, he’s versatile. As The Athletic detailed, he can operate as a deep-lying No.6, or in a more advanced No.8 role like Conor Gallagher.

Will Hughes will make Cheikhou Kouyate look much better

As we documented after the 0-0 draw with Brentford, Cheikhou Kouyate really isn’t the deep-lying midfielder we need under Vieira.

The £9.5m man kept getting caught out in dangerous areas, while his ability and technique on the ball really isn’t that polished.

In Hughes, we now have a player comfortable in collecting the ball from Joachim Andersen and Marc Guéhi, before turning and building an attack.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

That should make Kouyate look so much better, as the Senegal international can then focus on what he’s good at – breaking up the game and being the defensive colossus that he is.

Simply put, we can have no complaints about Hughes’ imminent arrival.

Dougie Freedman, take a bow.

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