The end could very well be near at Huddersfield Town for Lewis O’Brien, who in the coming days could be set to end his long association with the Terriers.
O’Brien has been a Huddesrfield player since the age of 11, progressing through the academy system before making his professional debut in 2019, a year after going out on loan to Bradford City for his first taste of senior football.
In the last three years, O’Brien has gone from strength-to-strength, and in that time there’s been no shortage of suitors for his services.
However, after defeating the West Yorkshire outfit in the Championship play-off final at the end of May, Nottingham Forest have now made their move for the 23-year-old, and they look set in the next 48 hours to bring O’Brien in for £10 million.
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Whilst O’Brien will be a major miss, Huddersfield will have the financial clout – if Dean Hoyle chooses to use it – to bring in a good replacement, and an ambitious move for Barnsley’s Callum Styles would be a statement of intent.
It is highly likely that Styles will depart the Tykes this summer following their relegation to League One, and with the 22-year-old’s new-found international status with Hungary, he needs to be playing at a better level to maintain that.
Styles is a natural central midfielder and also left-footed, so is a natural replacement for O’Brien, whilst he was also a very competent left wing-back during the 2020-21 season for Barnsley when they made it to the play-offs.
Most recently, Greek giants Olympiacos have been linked with Styles’ services, with reports stating that with one year left on his contract at Oakwell, the versatile midfielder is valued at €3.5 million – equating to £2.9 million.
That would be a big chunk of money for Huddersfield to pay, but considering £10 million is going to be coming in for O’Brien, it would be an investment that money could be made on in a few years time.
Some may say that the inbound Jack Rudoni is O’Brien’s replacement, with his acquisition from AFC Wimbledon having scored 12 goals in League One last season imminent.
Despite being able to play as an attacking midfielder though, Rudoni played most of last season out wide, and he wouldn’t be deemed as a player who could slot into a midfield duo like O’Brien played in for a lot of last season.
Styles though is that kind of player, and despite European clubs being interested, there’s no reason why the Championship’s third-placed side from last season can’t realistically get involved.