Huddersfield Town fans probably believed that the Lewis O’Brien saga was brought to an end for a while in September when he put pen to paper on a new contract lasting until 2025 – but there could be more drama to come.
After a summer of intense transfer speculation regarding the Terriers academy graduate, O’Brien remained at the John Smith’s Stadium following the closure of the transfer window despite Leeds United’s best efforts to bring him to Elland Road.
Phil Hodgkinson made it clear in the weeks that followed that he turned down multiple bids for the club captain, the final one totalling £13 million but because of the structure of the deal it wasn’t acceptable to the Terriers.
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Not long after a new deal was signed by O’Brien and he’s played in every Championship match this season after missing the first two through injury – but things could be about to change.
That is because in the last week multiple companies of Hodgkinson – Huddersfield’s majority owner – have gone into administration which has severely worried supporters despite his shares being held under another entity that is not connected to the ones that have been taken away from him.
It does beg the question of the state of his own personal finances and how the club’s financial health is looking, but further news emerged over the weekend from The Sun on Sunday (07.11.21, pg. 59) that the midfielder could depart for £10 million when 2022 comes around.
That is a clause that Football Insider reported on after his new deal was signed so it doesn’t appear to be new news, however it will be slightly concerning to fans because of what’s happening with Hodgkinson right now.
Will Leeds come back in for the 23-year-old though? Marcelo Bielsa could be looking for extra depth in his engine room with Mateusz Klich struggling this season and Jamie Shackleton featuring more as a right-back, so there’s every chance that a mid-season swoop by Huddersfield’s Yorkshire neighbours could be on the agenda.
It would be no surprise if that were the case but you’d hope that there will be a clearer picture of what the club’s financial picture will be like before then.