NEWPORT County boss Dean Holdsworth believes he’s signed a Championship level player in Darryl Knights - who penned a deal to join the Spytty Park revolution last night.
The Exiles boss swooped to make his sixth signing of the summer – with goalkeeper Glyn Garner not expected to sign until Monday – and his third from Conference rivals Kidderminster Harriers.
However, Knights, primarily a winger for Kiddy last term, has been misused, according to Holdsworth, who is ready to turn him into a striker.
A former Ipswich youth player and Yeovil Town man, the 22-year old is ready to hit new heights according to his new gaffer, who worked wonders with Sam Foley and Craig Reid, who arrived at Newport Stadium with only average goalscoring rec-ords.
“I am incredibly excited to have signed Darryl, he is going to be a proper, proper player, I think if he’d been used better he’d already be in the Championship or League One,” he said.
“He really has everything you would want, pace in abundance, really good skill and is willing to learn and develop his game.
“His versatility is certainly a plus for us, but just like Giuseppe Sole, I feel like I can take his game on to a new level.
“I know Kidderminster would have liked to have kept him and it’s a big signing for us and one we’re very pleased with.”
Holdsworth believes there is a lot of common ground between Knights and Foley.
“Sam is a classic example, I don’t think even he knew what position suited him best when we signed him,” he said.
“He’s come on leaps and bounds, learning facets of the game and now he’s comfortable in four different positions and especially as a number ten.
“Once we’ve developed Darryl’s confidence and he learns the way the other players do things, I think he’s going to be a pivotal signing.
Meanwhile, winger Takumi Ake is saying sayonara to Spytty Park after a spell ultimately spoiled by injury.
The Exiles were hoping to keep Ake for next term after his truncated season was essentially ended last year on the opening day when he snapped his cruciate knee ligament.
However, now back to full fitness, Ake has opted to wave farewell to English football after accepting an offer in his native Japan.
“Take has gone, we’re really sad but completely understand his decision and wish him all the best in the future,” Holdsworth said.
A County XI is in action tonight at Bishop’s Cleeve (kick-off 7.30pm) before a trip to Port Talbot tomorrow (2.30pm).