Meet Josh Knight, Peterborough United’s second returning hero in as many days
Knight was one of the club’s main targets as soon as promotion to the Championship was confirmed last May. It took a while and at one point it looked like the deal wouldn’t come through as the player took the time to consider his options, but Posh persisted and got his man.
A man who has won many admirers during his two loan periods at the club, from Leicester, in the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons. He has now signed a three-year contract after leaving Leicester after 15 years at the Premier League club.
He joined for an undisclosed amount after the Foxes took an option to extend the defender’s contract at the end of last season.
Knight has only made one League Cup appearance as a replacement for his home club and it was evident over the past two seasons that there would be no path for him to the Premier League’s first team. Foxes.
The reason they extended the 23-year-old’s contract was because they knew they would be able to claim a fee from one of his many admirers, after his performances last season.
One of the side effects of Posh’s refusal to fight for promotion in the penultimate season was the fact that they couldn’t get Knight on loan again as he went in search of the championship football. The added punch came with the fact that he found it with Wycombe.
Considering the added responsibility and workload of playing in the heart of the Chairboys defense, he excelled. He made 37 appearances for the relegated team and was voted “Player of the Year”.
He suffered a personal disappointment late when a harsh red card for a sliding challenge saw him sent off against Luton as Wycombe led in the second half. They then lost the game 3-1 and he had to miss the next three as Wycombe’s late push for survival stalled and they ultimately missed just one point against Derby on the final day.
Last season, Knight claimed his claim to be used in his privileged central defense position. It has often been used as part of a three-way defender or in a center-back partnership.
This will no doubt appeal to Darren Ferguson who switched between three and four full-backs on several occasions, often during games, during his last stint at the club. During the break-in, the club settled on a back four with FrankieKent and Mark Beevers both in the middle.
There’s no reason Knight couldn’t work his way into this partnership, possibly most likely before Beevers, but he would also prove to be a valuable asset if Ferguson chose to deploy a three in response to the increased level. of the opposition.
There’s also the flexibility of knowing that Knight can play in the middle of midfield, if needed, even if he says his preferred position is on defense and he wants to play there.
Ferguson has confirmed he was signed as a defender, but he could be required in midfield, depending on how the pair Jack Taylor and Jorge Grant behave. If they turn out to be too similar, and the two are looking to push too hard, leaving the defense exposed, Posh might need some of Knight’s steel to consolidate the midfield.
The debate over Knight’s position is familiar to fans of Posh.
When he was initially signed on loan in January 2019, he made eight appearances (six starts). In was signed as a center-back but was transferred to center midfield with great success in a must-see game at Portsmouth in the penultimate game of the season. Knight was exceptional that night with great athleticism and relentless tackling as Posh won 3-2 to keep his playoff hopes alive.
This performance persuaded Darren Ferguson to sign him as a midfielder the following season when he established a reputation as a box to box midfielder. He has scored three times in 24 League One appearances, with his most memorable moment being his second-half goal in Sunderland’s 3-0 home loss in August 2019.
The two temporary periods were, however, somewhat injured. He limped on his debut against Oxford after just 22 minutes in February 2019 and missed seven weeks of action. He was then ruled out due to a muscle injury between early November and late January during his second stint. Upon his return, he found Posh had moved to a two-man midfielder and had to be content to come off the bench in most games, with Taylor and Reece Brown being the preferred combination.
He has made 69 Football League appearances in his career so far and 83 in total taking into account the cup matches and the nine Football League Trophy appearances he has made for Leicester’s youth teams.
He goes straight into the squad as one of Posh’s most experienced league players, despite his only season at this level, but is doing in excellent form and is willing to be at the club after rejecting several other approaches. in favor of a return to Posh. .