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Playmaker's EFL 72: #61-#51

#59: Charlie Hughes (Wigan Athletic)

2024/04/10 19:20
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A ball-playing centre-back who had spells at both Manchester City and Liverpool as a youngster, Charlie Hughes has always had pedigree - and, still just 20, his form for Wigan in League One this season suggests the Latics have a real player on their hands.  

After impressing in the Latics' youth ranks, and captaining the club's Under-18s, Hughes stepped up to the senior ranks last season in the Championship and made 20 appearances as the Latics only just failed to defy a six-point deduction and beat the drop under Shaun Maloney.

This season, the England Under-20 international has kicked on at the DW Stadium and his displays have reportedly got clubs such as Ipswich, Brentford and West Ham circling ahead of the summer transfer window.

Nominated for League One's Young Player of the Season award, Hughes has already captained a young Wigan side on occasion this season, and the Latics have overcome an eight-point deduction prior to currently sit 13th in the third tier.

Composed in possession and defensively durable, Hughes also poses a threat in the opposition box - and he has scored three goals this season for the Latics, his 110th minute matchwinner in a 1-0 success over Wycombe going down as the latest goal in EFL history!

Ranking fifth for blocked shots in League One this term with 38, Hughes has won two thirds of his aerial duels and pinged the second-most accurate long balls (234) of any outfield player in the division.

Latics boss Maloney has praised Hughes' contribution this season as "immense" and, as the former Celtic and Wigan player admits, the downside to his young defender's rapid development is that Wigan may struggle to hold on to him next season.

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LH
2024-04-10 20h04m by lhalliday_bart
As a football fan, I am so excited for the next batch of standouts in the 'Playmaker 72'! It's always a tough decision to rank players from different divisions, but I can't wait to see who makes the cut.
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