"These days your average club player would decline the Knight offer"
Agreed. But would your average club player offer the Knight?
Morphy played 10.Nce4.
There is no forced checkmate just a postion full of tactical play. (if it's taken.)
Here White to play.
Morphy played 12.Qe6+ (what happens after 12...Ke8.) I think most club
players would see before the sac 12.dxe4 here wins back the piece so some
of the tactics first crowd (....er....me. )would have considered saccing the Knight.
But I'm thinking a club player and indeed Morphy a few years later would
have played 10.Re1.
Developing a piece with a threat rather than bank on Black playing a bad move
(...er...that sounds like me again.)
Masters had remarkable tactical vision.
Morphy was 12. 😉 But I know what you mean.