Patience can be the most valuable of virtues, and for Will Hughes it is a quality he has surely lent on throughout the first throws of his Watford career.

The 22-year-old arrived at Vicarage Road to much fanfare in June and his signing for an initial £4.5 million was seen as a major coup for the Hornets.

An omission from Marco Silva’s first match day squad provided an indication Hughes was by no means the finished article, and first team opportunities have been fleeting – he has played just 170 minutes of senior football this term.

Amidst the mayhem of Sunday’s 3-2 defeat at Goodison Park, Hughes did, however, make a promising maiden Premier League start. His ambition now is to remain in the starting XI.

“It felt good. Obviously I haven’t had much game time this season, so it was nice to finally get a start,” Hughes said.

“The final result put a bit of a dampener on it. I am sure I will look back on it with fond memories further down the line.

“The aim for any player is to play every game and it has been frustrating for me not to. I have to hold my hands up, we have been doing well, so I have had to be patient. If I get my chance again, I hope I will take it.”

Hughes certainly did his chances of remaining in Silva’s plans no harm on Merseyside, performing well and catching the eye, particularly in the first half.

His fitness levels inevitably dropped off as the game wore on, but there were signs a player who made 165 league appearances for Derby County is making the improvements demanded of him.

Silva has always praised Hughes’ work rate which has allowed him to make the gradual strides towards the level required in the Premier League.

It has by no means been an easy process for Hughes, who confesses the leap from playing in the Championship with County to top tier with the Hornets has been a sizable one.

“There are massive differences between the Championship and Premier League. The tempo is higher, it is more of a chess game,” he said.

“It is more tactical at this level. There is more quality on the ball and I hope that will stand me in good stead in the future.

“It is been difficult because I have been in the Championship for five years, so I knew it would be a big step up. Hopefully this will be the start of a long Premier League career.

“The manager has spoken to me about the areas he wants me to improve and where I can get better. I am still young and he is the ideal coach to make me a better player.”