Whilst I want to openly acknowledge that Notts requires strengthening up-top off the bat, one player I believe Ian Burchnall needs to commit to giving regular game time during the 2021/22 National League season is Lewis Knight.
Arriving at Meadow Lane from Bradford Park Avenue, the exciting forward who has a blistering amount of pace – described during his debut for the magpies by BT Sports as ‘rapid’ looked to be a real handful.
I can only imagine how effective he can become with developing further as a player and, featuring around the likes of Kyle Wootton and Elisha Sam who should only benefit the 22-year-old.
Having scored 11 goals in 15 appearances for Park Avenue, it signalled a real sign of intent by Notts to sign such as young upcoming player, but I felt slightly disappointed after his initial run of games and the appointment of Ian Burchnall that his development time seemed to be abandoned - this might’ve been due to an injury to the young striker, towards the tail end of the last campaign.
I mean, I can understand that whilst Jimmy Knowles was scoring those all-important goals that it left little space for him – especially with Knowles finding himself on the bench towards the end of last season.
But I saw something promising in Knight, that needs to be given time to come up to the level the club requires.
It’s not just due to his pace, which alone would cause a lot of those slow lanky brutes in National League trouble – his reading of the game seems to be something promising, as he found space which other players might not have drifted into.
I think with the focus being on playing quick, steady build-up football – the sheer number of knock-ons that he would be able to get onto would be exciting to see.
Plus, the formation of playing three centre-backs provides Notts that extra edge up top, that someone could really thrive from with the right level of support.
It’s clear that Ian Burchnall favours this style of play as it provides an extra body in attack, but with a strong tall striker like Kyle Wootton, a tricky winger like Callum Roberts – this would leave opposition teams having to commit players to marking them alone.
Including the new additions to the Notts ranks, such Aaron Nemane who also has a speedy reputation.
The sluggish, slow Notts of old could be a thing of the past. When you intend to play ‘pretty football’ you need players who can hang onto the ball or at least run with it, I firmly feel Lewis Knight can develop into a forward that can get those all-important goals.
Knight could be the right player to advance further with the right nurturing, being a player that could develop into a free scoring striker.
Nobody imagined that Wootton would be such a big hit at Meadow Lane, yet I can see a similar amount of hard-work and graft in Knight too.
Whether, he plays a big part in the upcoming season – it would be a waste not to give him further time to showcase what he can do. I also, don’t believe it would benefit Notts to loan him out as its clear he needs to make the step-up in order to be a success and the chances of him going out to a team above us seems slim.
If there’s one thing we know, goal scorers are hard to find and even more difficult to see do well in our famous Black & White shirts.
This is why, I feel for the promising aspects of Lewis Knights game – the only way he can improve further is to be given a chance to establish himself this upcoming season.