Ireland Under-21 midfielder Jason Knight impressed once again for Derby as Phillip Cocu’s side defeated Norwich in their Championship clash.
Jason Knight, who was named in Jim Crawford’s squad for the crucial qualifier against Italy, has played every minute of Derby’s opening three games of the Championship season.
The 19-year-old was moved into a more central role in the midfield against Norwich and it helped Derby pick up their first three points of the campaign.
Playing in that position, Knight made a crucial interception with five minutes left in the game and drove his side up the field, winning a free-kick in a promising area.
Wayne Rooney stepped up and brilliantly found the net to give Derby a well-deserved victory.
"When you have magic, you do not lose it."
Wayne Rooney hit a winner for Derby with this fantastic free-kick 💥pic.twitter.com/fOkL9y53u1
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) October 3, 2020
Jason Knight has been a member of Derby’s first team squad over the last couple of season but looks as though he is growing into one of their most important players despite being just 19.
After the game Derby fans were full of praise for Knight’s performance in the middle of the park, in what is a very promising sign for Ireland.
Can we all agree that Jason Knight has to always be played central going forward? He can do a job on the wing if needs be but the energy and drive he brings to the midfield is invaluable. Top performance. #dcfcfans
— Derby County Talk (@derbycountytalk) October 3, 2020
Jason Knight is one who goes unnoticed, plenty of energy and puts his foot in. Similar mould to Bryson, better in the middle of the park
— RamsChat (@Rams_Chat) October 3, 2020
Jason Knight fantastic. Bird will be watching worried he could lose his spot in there.
— Derby Retweets (@DerbyRetweets) October 3, 2020
After 15 minutes could anyone have seen that result. Jason Knight best performance I have seen in a Derby County shirt since Marriott at Elland Road. Made my weekend boys! #DCFC
— David Walton (@ramsfan0285) October 3, 2020
Jason knight was by far the best player on the pitch. 10/10 performance
— Oliver Brock (@OliverBrock1) October 3, 2020
Jason Knight man of the match.
— Richard Cusack (@RichardCusackBM) October 3, 2020
So, so, SO much better. Jason Knight is the most important player in this team for me, screams desire and has such a bright future. Whittaker really growing into first team football. Davies, Evans, Clarke, all fantastic. Get in! #dcfc
Rams are back 🐏🐏
— Pride (@PrideDCFC) October 3, 2020
Knight featured frequently in Ireland U21 squads under current senior manager Stephen Kenny who will no doubt be pleased with the midfielder’s performance against Norwich.
The 19-year-old is yet to win a senior cap for Ireland however he will surely be in with a shout in the future if he can continue to put in influential performances in the Derby County midfield.
Speaking in 2019, Rooney outlined that he believed Knight reminds him of himself when the former Manchester United striker was younger.
“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,” Rooney told Rams TV.
“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.”