Leeds United have been handed a golden chance to sign Huddersfield Town midfielder Lewis O’Brien amid a recent transfer update.
Journalist Alan Nixon had previously revealed via Twitter that O’Brien was “very near” to the top of the shortlist for Marcelo Bielsa’s side this summer as they look to strengthen their midfield options ahead of the new Premier League campaign.
And now, according to The Daily Mirror (print edition, page 64, August 22, 2021), the Terriers will sell the midfielder for around £8m.
And former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell has delivered his seal of approval over a potential late move for O’Brien this summer.
He said: “They are weaker without Kalvin Phillips in there, for sure.
“The Man United game, I thought they’d have lost without him anyway. But he is so important to them and it is massive for Leeds to have him back. But O’Brien does stiffen that midfield up. He’s a really, really good player. I think they will definitely look to strengthen.”
In O’Brien, Leeds could find someone who could be a real upgrade on Mateusz Klich in the middle of the park, with Huddersfield Town writer Steven Chicken raving about the 22-year-old’s ability to cover ground and put his foot in.
He said: “O’Brien is a left-footed, tough-tackling central midfielder. Former Huddersfield boss Danny Cowley often praised O’Brien as being ‘like having two players’, with the midfielder receiving particular praise from his manager and fans alike for his ability and willingness to rush back and win the ball with a clean sliding tackle whenever his side were caught on the counter-attack.
“He certainly has the potential to be (a Premier League player), if he’s not already.”
Former Huddersfield goalkeeper, Matt Glennon, added to those sentiments by saying: “He closes down until the 95th, 96th minute, still running to the corners, stopping defenders, he’s got unlimited energy.
“Lewis O’Brien wants to put the hard yards in and wants to be at the very top of where he can get to. He’s one of those lads who works ridiculously hard which, for me, is your minimum in any league, but he’s got that quality, the drop of a shoulder, that strength to keep people off him, a low centre of gravity to glide past people, arm aloft when they try to knock him off the ball.”
And, when you look at the key stats between O’Brien and Klich, it’s the Terriers ace who comes out on top.
As per Whoscored, O’Brien averaged more tackles, interceptions, dribbles and fouls won per game last season than his Polish counterpart, and given the fact he is several years younger – almost a decade in fact – he should come on leaps and bounds over the coming campaigns.
His tally of three goals and three assists – compared to Klich’s four and five respectively – came in a campaign which saw him play a number of different positions including holding midfield and left-back, so there’s real potential for him to develop that end product even further.
The Whites could sign a real upgrade on Klich by landing O’Brien this summer, and the latest transfer update on his future has gifted them a golden chance to do so.