Stuart Pearce hails rising Derby County star Will Hughes
ENGLAND Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce has praised the impact made by Will Hughes in the Championship this season.
Hughes has featured in all of Derby County's games and he was called up by Pearce for the under-21 international against Northern Ireland earlier this month.
The 17-year-old appeared as a substitute in the second half and became the second youngest player to appear at under-21 level for England after Arsenal's Theo Walcott.
Pearce was impressed by what he saw of Hughes, both in training and in the game.
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"Will's technically a very sound player and he played very well when he came on for his under-21 debut at Blackpool a couple of weeks ago," said Pearce.
"He settled in well and was very comfortable on the ball at such a young age.
"He rarely gave the ball away in training or in the game, which is vitally important at international level.
"I've been getting some great feedback about Will from Nigel (Clough) at Derby and he's progressing really well in the Championship.
"He's playing games regularly, which is fantastic for such a young player, and he can be pleased with how he is performing."
Pearce has also praised his former Nottingham Forest team-mate Clough and Derby for their work in developing young players.
"Nigel has always given young players a chance. He sees their potential as footballers and he isn't afraid to put them in the first team, and he's done this with Will," said Pearce.
"Derby County have a good legacy of producing young players.
"Mason Bennett is another player who is looking strong at his age group for England. He broke into the first team at Derby when he was still at school and that doesn't happen very often.
"Hopefully, he can continue developing for Derby and England in the future."
Hughes and Bennett have both represented England at under-16 and under-17 levels.
England Under-16s are in action at Burton Albion's Pirelli Stadium tonight when they take on Scotland in a Sky Sports Victory Shield match, kick off 7.35pm.
Ticket prices are £3 for adults and £1 for juniors.