Ex-Aston Villa forward Gabby Agbonlahor thinks Huddersfield Town’s Lewis O’Brien would prefer a move to Leeds United over Premier League rivals Crystal Palace due to his long-standing ties with Yorkshire, speaking to Football Insider.
The 22-year-old graduated through the Terriers’ academy before being shipped out on loan to Bradford City for the 2018/19 campaign, where he made a real impression at Valley Parade and appeared 40 times in the third tier for the Bantams.
With this, he was promoted to Huddersfield’s first-team and over the last two seasons, the central midfielder has made a remarkable 80 appearances in the Championship and become a key player at the John Smith’s Stadium during that time.
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After shining in the second tier, this has attracted the interest of Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United, who have already had a bid rejected for his services this summer. As per Football Insider, O’Brien is keen on making the short journey to Elland Road despite Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace also monitoring his situation in West Yorkshire.
The fact the Eagles have been in the Premier League for a longer amount of time than the Whites and now have a legendary central midfielder in charge could be seen as two tempting factors by the midfielder in a possible move to Palace – but former Villa striker Agbonlahor believes the attraction of remaining in a similar location will be too good to turn down for the 22-year-old.
In an interview with Football Insider, he said: “He’s (O’Brien) pushing to join Leeds.
“Yorkshire lads don’t want to leave Yorkshire. I didn’t want to leave Birmingham to go to London.
“He will want to stay in the area. It’s a big move for him and it makes sense.
“Bielsa likes his versatile players, just look at Stuart Dallas.
“O’Brien is like that, he can play everywhere.”
Considering his ties with Yorkshire, it’s no real surprise to see O’Brien wish for a move to Leeds United. At this stage, this is probably the dream move for him, being able to make the jump up to the Premier League whilst staying in the same location.
A move to the capital at this point would be risky, especially if he doesn’t play regularly and the move fails to work out for the midfielder. If that happens, he faces the prospect of having to re-locate again to kickstart his career.
In Yorkshire, he can join Marcelo Bielsa’s side confident of the fact the likes of Huddersfield, Sheffield United and other teams are still close to him if he moves on from Leeds without success.
But he should slot in well at Elland Road, providing he’s given the sufficient tools to thrive. This could mean limiting his playing time until he’s fully adapted to the Whites’ playing system, allowing him to hit the ground running when he is regularly involved.
However, it remains to be seen whether an agreement can be struck between the two sides with just a couple of weeks to go until the transfer window closes.