West Brom are reportedly keen on signing Nottingham Forest midfielder Lewis O’Brien on loan this month and his potential reunion with Carlos Corberan at the Hawthorns could see them achieve the promotion they narrowly missed out on at Huddersfield last season.
According to journalist Alan Nixon, West Brom are keen on signing the English midfielder this month, as he continues to struggle for game time with Steve Cooper’s side in the Premier League.
O’Brien was one of the star performers in Huddersfield’s side last season as they reached the Championship playoffs before their defeat against the Reds in the final at Wembley.
The 24-year-old, who captained the Terriers under Corberan, would contribute three goals and three assists in 46 Championship appearances last season, earning a superb 7.09 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
He would then complete a £10m move to the City Ground but has so far failed to emulate that form in the Premier League under Cooper, averaging a disappointing 6.33 rating from WhoScored across his 12 top-flight appearances, six of which have come from the bench.
Cooper has a frankly ridiculous number of players to choose from at Forest and it seems as if O’Brien may well be surplus to requirements when you consider that his last start in the Premier League came in early November.
However, he emphasised last season just how effective he can be in the second tier and Corberan would know how to get the best out of the young midfielder as he looks to continue the Baggies’ charge up the table.
The Spanish manager was full of praise for O’Brien last season as he led by example in Huddersfield’s surprise promotion push.
He said: “It’s not only the fact that Lewis O’Brien can compete at a top-level every single time he plays whatever position he is on the football pitch, it’s how he reacts to how you make him play in different positions. There is what makes him a special player and that is the fact that means I don’t see limits in his career and I don’t see limits in his potential.
“He does it all with a level of humility that means he is going to be an exceptional player and he is never going to stop growing.”
Corberan and O’Brien would have been gutted not to achieve promotion together last season but it seems as if the Baggies will have the chance to benefit from their strong relationship by signing him this month, and the Forest midfielder could be the difference maker as West Brom aim to return to the top flight this year.