Will Hughes: Derby County midfielder signs extended contract

Will Hughes

Derby County midfielder Will Hughes has signed a one-year contract extension which keeps him at the club until the end of the 2015-16 season.

The England Under-21 international only turned 18 on Wednesday but has already become a key player for the Rams

Hughes has played 35 games this season despite not featuring since mid-February because of a groin injury.

Boss Nigel Clough told BBC Radio Derby: "He's had a fantastic season and learnt so much over the last 12 months."

The new deal was triggered when Hughes, who could return to action by the end of the season, turned 18.

Clough added: "There is a pay rise which he thoroughly deserves and the extra year. I hope there will be a new one within the next 12 months.

"We have missed someone to be able to have the ball in all areas of the pitch - especially as the pitches have deteriorated as well.

"When the pitches are firm and bobbly, you need people who can handle the ball like Will.

"We have to give him the ball. He's not one of these who will be heading, tackling and running all over the pitch. He has to have the ball as often as he can.

"Right from pre-season we have encouraged the rest of the players to give it to him.

"He has great potential and is the sort of lad you want to build your team around."

Hughes was named the Championship's young player of the month in November and was rumoured to be attracting interest from a number of Premier League club, as well as several clubs from abroad.