Former England striker Wayne Rooney has heaped praise on Irish U21 international and new Derby County teammate Jason Knight outlining that the midfielder reminds him of his younger self.
The 18-year-old has broken into the Derby first team this season under Phillip Cocu featuring in 13 Championship games and starting six times.
Rooney, who has joined the Rams in both a playing and coaching capacity, has already worked closely with Knight and appears to be impressed by what he has seen from the young midfielder.
“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.”
Knight has credited Cocu for helping his game develop this year, taking the time to praise the Derby manager’s influence since his arrival in the summer.
“The manager has been great with me from the first day of pre-season in Florida. He has worked really hard with all of us and especially the young players to try and develop us.
“I think also he has shown a lot of trust, putting us on in games when I suppose some managers wouldn’t.
“I think I will be a better player for the experiences I’ve had and it’s always drilled into us to work hard and the chances will come.”
Knight has also been involved with Stephen Kenny’s Irish U21 side this year in what’s been a tremendous start to their European qualifying campaign.