Speculation continues to suggest that the 18-year-old midfielder will soon be lured away in a big-money transfer.
Several Premier League clubs have been monitoring his progress for some time, with it considered that he is ready to step up into the top flight.
It could be that he takes that stride with Derby, as the Rams are well-placed in the Sky Bet Championship promotion picture.
Steve McClaren has them playing an impressive brand of attacking football, which suits Hughes' style, and Southgate believes a player he works with at international level should be looking to work on his game in surroundings in which he feels comfortable before thinking about taking on a new challenge.
He said in the Derby Telegraph: "Will is a very mature boy, a sensible boy. I think he is somebody who just loves his football. You can see on the field his personality comes out, he is smiling with referees and with the opposition.
"So if he is able to put everything else to one side, that is perfect. He doesn't strike me as the type to become distracted.
"He is a young player who we are all very excited about."
Southgate added: "Will loves the club. He has been through the system and that has a big impact on your thought process.
"As a young player, you always have that attachment with your first club even more than any other.
"I'm sure he realises, at his age, Derby County is a great place to be."