West Ham United are reportedly contemplating making a move for Derby County midfielder Jason Knight in the January transfer window.
According to club insider ExWHUemployee (as relayed by West Ham News & Views), the Hammers could be set to capitalise on Derby’s financial turmoil by making an offer for the highly-rated 20-year-old this winter.
They tweeted: “West Ham could look to capitalise on Derby County’s financial situation in the January transfer window. One player we like is 20-year-old Irish midfielder Jason Knight. We looked at him last January and could look at him again this January. [@ExWHUemployee].”
The Pride Park academy graduate has established himself as one of the Championship’s most promising prospects in recent years after scoring 11 goals and providing three assists in 94 appearances for the Rams.
Earlier this year, Derby boss Wayne Rooney dubbed the youngster a “manager’s dream” who “gives everything”, highlighting his work ethic and dedication to make it to the top of his game. Coincidentally, those are two attributes that epitomise the current Hammers talisman; Declan Rice.
His hard work is clearly being rewarded by the Manchester United legend, as Knight has started 11 of his 14 league appearances this term, helping him earn eight caps for the Republic of Ireland along the way.
However, due to the Midlands outfit’s off-field troubles, they could have no choice but to offload their young star in order to balance the books.
That’s according to Football League World, who claimed that Derby are at risk of losing several of their academy prospects in the near future as their struggles to find a new owner continue.
It’s thought that the club’s administrators have failed to rule out the prospect of selling players in January, and Knight is a prime candidate to depart Pride Park.
With Mark Noble set to retire at the end of the season and summer signing Alex Kral yet to make a serious impression in the first team, Moyes may be tempted to move for Knight over the coming months and his arrival would surely get the club’s supporters buzzing.
And that’s because the youngster already appears to be outperforming West Ham’s club captain in the current campaign.
As per WhoScored, Knight has averaged 0.7 key passes, 0.7 shots per game, 0.9 tackles and 1.6 aerial duels won in his league outings, bettering Noble’s tallies in each metric. With a suitable all-round game, he’d surely be the perfect midfielder for Moyes, mirroring what somebody like Rice brings to the team.
For context, he has managed 0.7 shots per match of his own and 0.9 key passes which are near identical tallies to Knight. Furthermore, the England international has won 1.3 aerial battles an outing, just 0.3 fewer than West Ham’s latest transfer target.
Therefore, Moyes could secure an upgrade in midfield on Kral and Noble, all while potentially discovering his next Rice in the process. That’s certainly something for the fanbase to get excited about.