Derby County supporters have taken to Twitter to lavish praise on young midfielder Jason Knight.
Manager Phillip Cocu handed Knight his first Derby start in the Carabao Cup clash at Scunthorpe United. The Rams won the game 1-0, with fellow graduate Lee Buchanan netting the only goal.
It was a special evening for Derby. Seven of the 14 players who featured came through the club’s academy, and they looked a class above their League Two opposition.
Buchanan will rightly receive the plaudits for netting the winner. The left-back controlled a wonderful ball from George Evans before driving into the box and firing home an unstoppable shot across the goalkeeper.
But Knight was the standout player for the visitors. The 18-year-old bossed the midfield for Cocu’s young side.
Here is a selection of the widespread praise on Twitter after the game:
86′ | Jason Knight has been incredible. 💫
He turns a lost cause into a free-kick in a dangerous area, and he’s about to be joined by another starlet…
🔵 0-1 ⚪ | #SUFCvDCFC
— Derby County (@dcfcofficial) August 13, 2019
Got to say that Jason Knight excelled tonight. Very bright and naturally wanted to attack when in possession and got forward …. great confidence and hopefully Cocu will get him playing more regularly over the coming months. #dcfc
— Carl Wiltshire (@carl2904) August 13, 2019
Knight was class tonight, and Evans put in a really mature performance #dcfc
— 🐏 Schcott Barehaam 🐏 (@Scottbareham1) August 13, 2019
Can’t wait for Jason Knight to boss the City Ground.
— Walsall Ram (@Walsall_Ram) August 13, 2019
Youngsters excellent tonight! Jason Knight different class – unbelievable performance. Buchanan was very good and what a finish! Bielik was like a Rolls Royce. Max Lowe excellent at RB too. Great to see Sibley & Whittaker getting debuts too. Great night all round. #dcfc #dcfcfans
— DCFC Football (@derbycountyf) August 13, 2019
Jason Knight should 100% start at the weekend, Buchanan should be on the bench #DCFC
— Conor (@_FtblConor) August 13, 2019
Jason Knight, what a player this boy is. Could have a breakthrough season. Buchanan looked decent at left back as well. #DCFC
— Sammy (@sammy031983) August 13, 2019
— Grant Sutcliffe (@GrantSutcliffe) August 13, 2019
Bielik is ridiculous and knight looks special, plus all the lads with debuts, something tells me we’re in good hands! 👏👏👏 #dcfc
— Gaz (@Dcfc_Gaz) August 13, 2019
Jason Knight stakes his place for a regular first-team role:
Derby have started the regime under Cocu with two wins and a draw. Performances have been good, yet there is the feeling there is still so much more to come.
Knight’s performance should put him in contention for a regular starting berth at Pride Park. He outshone senior stars such as George Evans and Graeme Shinnie at Scunthorpe while showing plenty of versatility.
The Republic of Ireland U21 international can seemingly play in different midfield roles or out wide. His best role, however, seems to be as a creative midfielder finding space in the final third, similar to Mason Mount.
Derby and Knight’s reward for their victory at Scunthorpe is a second-round trip to east midlands rivals Nottingham Forest. It offers another chance for the Rams youngsters to impress and show they are ready for the Championship.