Premier League strugglers Burnley have set their sights on Huddersfield Town midfielder Lewis O’Brien, per The Sun on Sunday (03/01, page 57).
Sean Dyche now has funds to play with following the recent takeover from American company ALK Capital, and he has Championship players on his radar again in the form of Derby’s Jason Knight and Terriers star O’Brien.
22-year-old O’Brien first caught the eye on loan at Bradford City in the 2018/19 season, netting four times in League One in his first full campaign in men’s football.
And he used that experience to break into the Huddersfield first team, where he was thrown into the mix right away at the start of the 2019/20 season and ended up playing 38 times, netting twice and assisting four goals.
O’Brien’s importance was shown in the final league game of last season where he skippered the Terriers at the age of just 21, and he’s remained a key figure under new manager Carlos Corberan in the centre of midfield, although he’s played the last three games on the left wing, filling in for the injured Josh Koroma.
That’s the kind of versatility that Dyche likes and has seen a recent Championship recruit in Josh Brownhill prosper in both a central role and a wide right position for the Clarets – O’Brien could do something similar.
Burnley clearly have a particular type of player in mind as a January addition judging from both the O’Brien and Knight links.
They want an energetic attacking midfielder to compliment the more defensive powers of Ashley Westwood, whilst Josh Brownhill is a more box to box type.
But Huddersfield will not be desperate to sell their star youngster, especially after receiving upwards of £15 million from West Brom for Karlan Grant in October.
Debts still need to be paid to former owner Dean Hoyle, but owner Phil Hodgkinson will be hoping that he doesn’t need to resort to selling another star to help do that.