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Stephen Hughes
Position: Midfielder
From: Everton - free transfer - July 2001
Career stats: Soccerbase
He is: Stalled


When Stephen Hughes joined Watford from Everton in the summer, there was much talk of him coming back down south to get his career moving again. There's no doubting the talent that first saw him emerge at Arsenal during their double-winning season and saw him move to the Toffees for three million nicker, but we've seen precious little of it so far.

That's not to say that we won't, of course. While the season has seen his career stay firmly stalled, there were still flashes of his skills in that early autumn run of games that started with the Worthington Cup romp against Bradford. I also recall a faultless performance of passing the ball and being a vital cog in midfield with Micah Hyde and David Noble at Grimsby, but that's been about the sum of it so far.

Now he has succumbed to a groin injury that's required surgery and he's not expected back in training until March. It's not unreasonable to assume that, by the time he's match fit, the fat lady will be tuning her voice and preparing to sing the season to a close. So with this season practically done with from his point of view, where next for Stephen Hughes? A pre-season of getting fully fit, getting himself back into the side for the start of the season and no doubt there'll be more talk about getting his career moving again....

Dave Messenger
Last updated: January 2002