Former England international forward Wayne Rooney has told RamsTV how Derby County’s Jason Knight is fearless and reminds him of when he was younger.
Rooney agreed a deal with the Rams last summer but isn’t available to play until January.
In the meantime, following his exit from DC United, the former Manchester United forward has been training with Derby and sitting in the dugout during match days.
Rooney has plans on a future coaching role. And, speaking to RamsTV, he singled out Jason Knight as a promising youngster who has a big future ahead of him.
I’ve been really impressed with the way they’ve trained, particularly Knighty. His energy, his attitude. He almost reminds me of myself when I was younger in terms of no fear. And he’s got an aggression about him, not in terms of how he’s tackling, but in terms of how he runs, how he gets about the pitch. I’m looking forward to see how they do as I feel he can give us a lot of energy and a lot of creativity.
Knight has broken into the Derby first team squad this season.
Manager Phillip Cocu handed the Irish midfielder his debut at Scunthorpe United in the Cup, and later his first Championship start in the draw with West Bromwich Albion.
The 18-year-old is a versatile midfielder. He can play the holding role, out wide or as a box-to-box player. His willingness to run off the ball has been a huge standout.
Knight has started six Championship games this term, including the recent back-to-back away fixtures at Reading and Wigan Athletic. He was impressive in both games.
The Ireland U21 international is looking to emulate Jeff Hendrick. The former Derby academy midfielder is a full Ireland international and a Premier League regular with Burnley.
On evidence so far, Knight arguably has the tools to go even further.