Few Leicester City fans knew much about Jamie Vardy when he arrived from then-Non League Fleetwood Town in 2012, but he quickly set about turning himself into a Foxes legend.
And the early signs suggest the club’s latest bit of business – signing Sam Hughes from Chester – could prove another masterstroke by the East Midlands outfit.
The 20-year-old is a player whose ability and leadership belies his young years, with Blues boss Jon McCarthy giving the defender the captain’s armband on five occasions since the start of March.
Versatile at the back, the West Kirby native was a regular at both centre-back and right-back last term – and impressed greatly in both positions.
His aerial prowess and knack for dispossessing strikers made him a real asset at the heart of defence, but the speedy youngster also proved a creative force on the flanks, chalking up three goals and providing a regular source of chances.
While some young players struggle with the pressure of big games, Hughes has proved himself to be a difference maker on the most important occasions. And it was no surprise to see him chalk up the club’s Player of the Year award.
The Foxes’ new man netted the winner in 1-0 victories over fellow relegation-battlers Braintree Town and Torquay United – goals which proved crucial as Chester avoided the drop by just two points.
All very impressive – but will he cut the mustard four leagues above?
Well, nobody’s expecting him to be the finished article just yet. And with only 18 months of senior football under his belt, there’s every chance he’ll continue to grow – especially with experienced campaigners like Wes Morgan and Robert Huth to learn from.
Given his already impressive skill-set, vocal presence on the pitch and knack for major contributions, he certainly has all the attributes to become a key defensive presence for Leicester.
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