Huddersfield Town midfielder Lewis O’Brien has emerged as a transfer target of Premier League side, Sheffield United.
The Blades are well on their way to establishing themselves back in the Premier League, with Chris Wilder’s attention now seemingly turning back towards the transfer window.
According to The Sun (19/04, page 58), O’Brien is a man on Wilder’s radar, with Sheffield United keen to wrap up a ‘bargain’ deal as the market value could drop considerably during the ongoing global health issue.
O’Brien has made 30 appearances across all competitions for Town this season, and despite the club’s struggles in adapting back to life in the Championship, he has impressed.
With that in mind, we assess to pros and cons to Sheffield United looking to wrap up a deal for the 21-year-old…
Pro: O’Brien’s talent
The first place to start is the most obvious one: O’Brien is a very good player.
The youngster has great energy and whilst he might not be the most technically gifted midfielder in the Championship, he’s definitely got ‘Premier League pedigree’.
Wilder will be keen to get his teeth into the midfielder’s talent, as he could, genuinely, be a huge hit in South Yorkshire.
Con: Is the trajectory too fast?
O’Brien has been a regular in the Championship this season and he’s held his own at a competitive level.
Yet, it was only last season that he was part of a Bradford City squad relegated into League Two.
Yes, he impressed at Valley Parade, but is the Premier League a step too far at this moment in time?
Of course, the Blades themselves are an example of how a side in League One are never too far away from the heights of the Premier League, but there’s no doubt there will be doubts that this trajectory is too quick.
Pro: O’Brien versatility
O’Brien is a central midfielder, but he has shown a number of different qualities in that position this season.
In a 4-2-3-1, which Town usually play, he can play as one of two holding midfielders, breaking up play and supporting attack from deep.
Additionally, he can step into the No.10 role, where he can use his energy to cause havoc in the final third.
Of course, the Blades play with a 3-5-2 system, but there’s a potential for O’Brien to become a box-to-box outlet for Chris Wilder.
O’Brien has scored only twice this season in the Championship, and Sheffield United might have some concerns over the midfielder’s ability to add goals to the team from the position he plays.
A midfielder’s job isn’t to score goals, granted, but it is always a positive if they can have this ability.
Six career goals is hardly a standout contribution, and although O’Brien has so much more ability, he might have to showcase his goalscoring talents.