Republic of Ireland international Jason Knight appears to be on the verge of joining Championship side Bristol City, putting an end to his six-year spell with Derby County.
John Percy revealed yesterday that a fee of around £2m had been agreed between the Robins and the Rams to secure the 22-year-old’s services, with a medical set to happen over the coming days.
This comes after manager Paul Warne announced on Thursday that he expected the midfielder to leave, labelling him a “great kid”.
Knight joined Derby’s academy set-up as a 16-year-old from Cabinteely in 2017 and was a part of the Rams’ U18s Premier League title success shortly after in 2019.
He made his first team debut under then Derby manager Phillip Cocu on the opening day of the following season as the East Midlands outfit battled to a 2-1 victory away from home against recently relegated Huddersfield Town.
Knight became a regular under Cocu, and continued to be a regular under Wayne Rooney once the Dutchman was sacked and the England legend switched from player to manager in late 2020.
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Due to breaching EFL accounting rules and later entering administration under former owner Mel Morris, the Rams were deducted 21 points in the 2021/22 campaign. This ultimately led to Derby’s relegation to the third tier, with many young talents and first team regulars departing for small fees or on frees.
Knight was not one of the stars to jump ship, and despite interest from several Championship sides, he stuck with the Rams for the entirety of their recent League One campaign where he carried on being a regular under both interim manager Liam Rosenior and then permanent boss Paul Warne.
The Irish midfielder made 47 appearances during the 2022/23 campaign, regardless of a short spell on the sidelines due to injury, scoring three and assisting three as he showcased his versatility by playing a number of positions from right-back to attacking midfielder.
Will Knight be missed?
In total, the youngster made 166 appearances for Derby. He registered 14 goals and seven assists in that time, alongside making his debut for the Republic of Ireland and scoring once in his 20 caps for the Boys in Green.
Known less for his return in an attacking sense and more for his outrageous engine in the middle of the park, Knight’s exit could well suit all parties at this moment in time.
The Rams will now be able to reinvest some of that £2m fee into building a squad capable of promotion, the Robins have landed themselves a tidy addition at a reasonable fee, and the Irishman is able to once again showcase his skills at a higher level.