Huddersfield Town midfielder Scott High has said playing alongside Lewis O’Brien has helped to show his personality and what he’s about after playing a more important role for the Terriers this term, speaking to Yorkshire Live.
The 20-year-old, who signed a new contract earlier this year to keep him at the John Smith’s Stadium until 2025, was playing with non-league side Concord Rangers as late as last year before going out on another temporary spell with League One outfit Shrewsbury Town in time for the start of the 2020/21 campaign.
However, he was recalled at the end of December, made several cameos for Carlos Corberan’s side in the second half of last season and has done enough to remain in West Yorkshire for the start of this term.
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With Juninho Bacuna leaving the club for Rangers during the summer, this has helped to provide him with more opportunities in the middle of the park, playing a full 90 minutes against Derby County, Preston North End and most recently, Luton Town in the Championship so far this season.
He lined up alongside Lewis O’Brien at the heart of midfield at Kenilworth Road, someone who was linked with a move away to Leeds United and Crystal Palace in the summer but signed a new contract to keep him at the club.
High spoke out about his midfield partner after the second-tier clash in Bedfordshire and the way he’s been able to improve his game alongside the 22-year-old, saying: “He [Carlos Corberan] said before the game to do what Hoggy and Vallejo do, sit in front [of the defence] and try to get on the ball as much as I can.
“Sometimes, if Lewis [O’Brien] is sat back, I can push forward.
“If he goes, I stay back and if I go, he stays back so having that partnership with Lewis, and trying to get on the ball, helps me show my personality and show what I’m about.”
Having someone as talented as O’Brien alongside you can only help you improve your game, so while the Leeds-linked man may be only 22 himself, he’s setting an example for juniors like High to come through and make a real impact in the first team.
The 22-year-old started to make a real impact at the John Smith’s Stadium around High’s current age (20) after an individually successful loan spell at Bradford City during the 2018/19 season – and there’s no reason why his teammate couldn’t follow in his footsteps.
Having a 20-year-old who can make a real impact in the Championship already is a great asset to the Terriers and with a £10m release clause reported to be in O’Brien’s new contract, High could easily be his long-term replacement alongside the likes of Jonathan Hogg and Alex Vallejo.
At this stage of his career, game time is the most important thing for the Scottish youth international, so it may be concerning for him that he has to beat the likes of Hogg, Vallejo and O’Brien for a spot in the middle of the park.
However, this competition can only be a good thing for the club as a whole and may help to maximise High’s performance levels in his quest to be a regular starter in the second tier.