Phil Hay has dropped an update on reported Leeds United transfer target Lewis O’Brien.
In a recent Q&A on The Athletic, the Leeds United correspondent revealed that, despite a number of reports linking the Whites with a £10m move for the Huddersfield Town starlet this summer, at present, Victor Orta is pursuing other options in his attempts to sign a new central midfielder in the transfer market.
In response to a question asking how likely the 23-year-old’s signing appears to be, Hay revealed the following twist: “The club do want a central midfielder but from what we’re hearing, they’re focusing on other targets. It’s not that they don’t like O’Brien but, when push comes to shove, his window of opportunity for moving to Elland Road was probably last summer.”
Considering just how exciting a prospect O’Brien quite clearly is, Hay’s rather surprising update that the Whites’ sporting director is not currently planning a move for the Terriers’ talent is sure to be news that will have left the Elland Road faithful gutted.
Indeed, over his 43 Championship fixtures this season – not including his three play-off appearances – the £3.15m-rated midfielder highly impressed for Carlos Corberan’s side, scoring three goals, providing three assists and creating four big chances for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 1.1 shots, making 1.0 key passes and completing 2.0 dribbles per game.
The £5k-per-week midfielder also impressed in metrics more typical of his position, enjoying 56.7 touches of the ball, as well as making an average of 0.8 interceptions, 2.2 tackles, 29.5 passes and winning 7.5 duels – at a success rate of 56% – per outing.
These returns saw the player who Jonathan Hogg dubbed “sensational” and Jobi McAnuff claimed has “a bit of everything” average an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.00 – playing a crucial role in Town’s widely unexpected run to the play-off final.
As such, it is clear to see that O’Brien would make an exceptional addition to Jesse Marsch’s current options in the middle of the park, an opinion that many Leeds supporters agreed with in a recent poll ran on Football FanCast – with the vast majority stating that they believe the 23-year-old would be a fantastic signing for a £10m fee.
However, following Hay’s latest update, it would not appear as if the Whites are currently in the running for the midfielder’s signature this summer, something that will undoubtedly be disappointing news to many involved with the club.