Hughes, 18, is regarded as one of the best youngsters in English football, with a number of Premier League clubs monitoring his progress.
Interest was apparent in the summer and it is believed that Derby will receive firm bids for his services in the January transfer window.
"Our job is to make sure he makes it. Eventually he will be too good. What we need behind that is players coming through to replace him," McClaren told reporters at a press conference.
McClaren recently replaced Nigel Clough at the helm of the Championship outfit.