Published: 13/11/2012 08:00

Keogh backs Hughes to make Premier League step

Written byTom Sloan

DERBY County captain Richard Keogh believes Will Hughes will go far in the game after his call-up for the England under-21 side.

Richard KeoghThe Rams skipper, along with the rest of the club, is delighted with how well the 17-year-old has taken to life in the Championship.

Hughes scored his second goal for the club in the 2-1 defeat at Millwall on Saturday and, speaking afterwards, Keogh gave the teenager a glowing report.

“Will’s mature beyond his years,” said Keogh. “A lot of credit needs to go to the manager for that.”

Keogh believes Hughes could make the step up to play Premier League football at some point in his burgeoning career.

Rumours have already linked him with a move to both Manchester clubs, with bids of £1 million said to have been tabled before the youngster even appeared for the first team.

After the start he has made this season, his asking price will surely have more than doubled.

“He could make the step up,” said Keogh. “He’s showed everyone what a fantastic player he is.

“It shows to young players too that if you work hard at Derby you can do well. You just have to look at Will and Jeff (Hendrick).

“I think one day Will’ll play in the Premier League.

“He’s got a level head on his shoulders and fantastic ability. If you mix the two together you’ve got a fantastic opportunity to play at the highest level.”

Keogh was impressed with Hughes’ leveller at the Den on Saturday.

It looked like the Rams would go on and win the game at one point before a late goal for the hosts denied them even a point.

“It was great technique for his goal,” said Keogh. “What’s good is he wants to learn every day and he’s a very humble lad. He always listens to what the manager and other players say — plus he’s got great quality in and around the box.”

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