Huddersfield Town have been facing a very difficult dilemma over the long-term future of midfielder Lewis O’Brien this summer with interest having emerged in the 22-year-old.
It has been consistently reported throughout the summer transfer window that Leeds United have been keen to try and secure a deal with the Terriers that would take O’Brien to Elland Road.
Leeds have even seen at least one offer for O’Brien turned away by Huddersfield and it has been reported that the Terriers are set to hold out for a fee of around £8 million for the 22-year-old this summer.
The latest reports from The Sun over the weekend have revealed that Leeds are still very much considering lining up another move for the midfielder before the transfer window comes to a close.
While the Sunday Mirror also reported that Huddersfield could now be willing to allow O’Brien to leave the club and make the move to Leeds in the next few weeks so long as their valuation for him is met by the Whites.
Given how crucial O’Brien has been for the Terriers over the last two seasons since they were relegated from the Premier League, you can understand why Carlos Corberan’s side have been so reluctant to allow the 22-year-old to leave the club for anything short of their valuation amid Leeds’ interest.
However, the chance to make the move to the Premier League and to link up with a coach like Marcelo Bielsa is obviously one that the midfielder will be wanting to grab with both hands. Therefore it would be difficult for Huddersfield to deny him that chance.
The major issue for Huddersfield would be over how they could potentially replace a player with O’Brien’s quality to add goals and assists from the middle of the park and also produce consistent quality with his distribution in possession.
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According to reports from The Sun over the weekend though, Huddersfield have now identified Aberdeen midfielder Lewis Ferguson as the player they would be keen on signing should O’Brien depart the club before the window closes.
Ferguson seems to on the face of it at least to be the perfect kind of replacement for O’Brien. The 21-year-old has demonstrated with Aberdeen that he has the ability to get forwards in support of attacks from the middle of the park and make a real impact in the final third.
That saw Ferguson manage to fire home nine league goals and provide two assists in his 35 appearances for Aberdeen in the Scottish Premier League last term.
That is a larger goal contribution than O’Brien managed for the Terries in either of the last seasons in the Championship, with him managing three goals and three assists in 42 appearances last term. While in the 2019/20 campaign he contributed two goals and four assists in 38 games.
Ferguson also compares fairly equally with O’Brien in terms of his overall performance numbers from last season with the 21-year-old having averaged 1.9 shots and 0.9 key passes per match in the Scottish Premier League last term. While O’Brien averaged 0.9 shots and 1.1 key passes per game.
O’Brien managed to average two tackles and one interception per game for the Terriers Last term compared with Ferguson’s 1.8 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per 90 minutes.
That suggests that Ferguson would be able to slot into the role that O’Brien has within Huddersfield’s starting line-up and deliver a lot of the qualities that the 22-year-old was bringing to the table for them.
Therefore, Huddersfield would be very wise to sanction a move for O’Brien at this stage and use the money that Leeds could hand them to bring in Ferguson who is a very talented player with a lot of potential that would be ready to step into the side and do a lot of the 22-year-old’s work for them.
It could be the perfect solution to an issue that Huddersfield have been having to contend with throughout the summer and one that now needs to be addressed with time running out in the transfer window.