HARTLEPOOL United are set to sign trialist Dennis Knight after boss John Hughes likened him to former Manchester United star Giuseppe Rossi.
The 19-year-old – released by Newcastle United earlier this month – has been training with Pools in recent weeks and scored twice for the club’s reserves during Wednesday’s 4-1 win over Grimsby Town.
Hughes was in attendance to see star-turn Knight make his case for a deal at Victoria Park.
And it now appears certain the silky forward will be rewarded with a short-term contract, especially given the manager’s comparison to Villarreal and Italy striker Rossi.
“Dennis did exceptionally well,” Hughes told SportMail, reflecting on Knight’s trial match.
“He reminds me of Giuseppe Rossi – he’s got the same stature and physique.
“When I was up in Scotland we couldn’t get down quick enough to watch Manchester United’s reserves.
“It was just to see him. He had a bit of magic every now and then.
“Dennis has that similar look – he can see a pass, has a wand of a left foot and can score a goal.
“He’s done himself no harm and it’s someone we might have to look at between now and the end of the season.
“We might give him the platform and say ‘there you go, show us what you’ve got’.”
Knight was joined by former Magpie team-mate Michael Riley in Mick Barron’s second-string side.
The left-sided midfielder is also set to remain at Maiden Castle, although he will have to do more to win a deal.
Knight had been named in Newcastle’s Europa League squad at the start of the season but he failed to make a first-team appearance on Tyneside.