Ex-Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has urged his former club to land Huddersfield Town midfielder Lewis O’Brien this summer and claimed “he could be something special” at Elland Road.
The Sun on Sunday (04/07, p. 60) reported that the Whites had joined the race for O’Brien with Marcelo Bielsa keen to add reinforcements in midfield amid concerns over the fitness of Adam Forshaw.
The 22-year-old is said to be valued at around £10 million, while journalist Alan Nixon has since indicated he is very near the top of the Premier League club’s transfer shortlist.
O’Brien’s agent, Kevin Sharp, has since told LUFC Fan Zone he is unaware of Leeds’ interest in the midfielder but suggested there are a lot of other clubs keen.
Even so, Whelan – who started his career at Elland Road – has called for his former club to land the Terriers player and talked up what he could achieve should he join the Whites.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “O’Brien is a superb player technically and he is aggressive in that central midfield area. He’s been their standout player over the past couple of seasons.
“We know a lot about his talent in West Yorkshire but I feel like there is a lot more to come from him.
“He could be something special if he comes to Leeds because he is a very exciting midfielder, there’s no doubt about it. Hopefully, we can get that over the line.”
The 22-year-old’s contract with the Terriers is set to expire next summer but the club do hold an additional 12-month option.
O’Brien has been at Huddersfield since U11 level and has established himself as a key man in their midfield over the past two seasons.
He had the most significant campaign of his young career under former Leeds coach Carlos Corberan in 2020/21 – featuring in all but four of their Championship games.
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There’s an awful lot to like about O’Brien and you feel his development could be aided greatly by learning under Bielsa.
The Leeds boss has transformed a number of the players in the squad since his arrival and the 22-year-old appears to have many of the raw characteristics that could see him thrive at Elland Road.
With that in mind, you can understand where Whelan is coming from here as signing the midfielder could prove a masterstroke in years to come.