Huddersfield Town captain Jonathan Hogg believes it’s ‘only a matter of time’ before teammate Lewis O’Brien makes a move to the Premier League, speaking in an interview with Yorkshire Live.
22-year-old O’Brien has been strongly linked with a move to top-flight side and Yorkshire neighbours Leeds United over the past few weeks, with the Whites having their opening bid for his services rejected earlier this month and remaining interested in bringing him to Elland Road ever since.
As per Football Insider, the midfielder was preparing to tell officials at the John Smith’s Stadium that he wishes to leave the Championship club in the summer to link up with Marcelo Bielsa’s side, with Crystal Palace also reported to be in the race to recruit the Terriers’ key man.
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Fellow Huddersfield midfielder Juninho Bacuna officially left West Yorkshire yesterday to join Scottish Premiership champions Rangers, which could indicate they are also willing to cash in on the 22-year-old this summer.
It could also mean they are more desperate to retain him beyond the end of the month though, with the Curacao international already leaving a hole in the second-tier side’s midfield and the loss of their newly-appointed vice-captain could be even more damaging, regardless of whether they can bring replacements in.
Jonathan Hogg could be the last man standing in the middle of the park for the Terriers at this rate – and he believes the 22-year-old is ready to compete in the Premier League amid Leeds and Crystal Palace’s interest.
In a recent interview with Yorkshire Live, he said: “I think it’s only a matter of time before he (O’Brien) plays in the Premier League. He has a lot of great attributes, his energy and intensity is sensational, up there with the best I’ve seen in my career.
“He certainly drives the team with his energy and forward runs, it helps the team massively.
“Lewis is a good lad and he’s grounded, down to earth but it’s only a matter of time before he does play at the top level.”
Despite Juninho Bacuna’s departure, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Lewis O’Brien make a move away from Huddersfield with the intensity of Leeds United’s interest.
After spending the entirety of his playing career in Yorkshire, graduating through his current side’s academy and being shipped out on loan at Bradford City during the 2018/19 season before breaking through in the Championship, it’s no wonder Leeds is his preferred destination this summer.
Right now, Huddersfield Town hold all the cards despite O’Brien having less than 12 months remaining on his current deal. This is due to the fact they have the option to automatically extend his contract by another year after inserting that clause into the fresh terms he signed back in 2019.
Judging by Hogg’s comments, it also seems as if he’s resigned to losing his midfield partner and his side will need to get to work on at least a couple of new central midfielders before the end of the window to fill the void left by O’Brien and Bacuna.
This will give them the best chance of staying afloat in the second tier, because after already struggling last season with the Leeds-linked man in the side, they are almost certain to be fighting relegation again without some much-needed additions before the end of the month.