This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more
Lewis O’Brien has a £10m release clause in his new deal at Huddersfield Town, according to Football Insider.
O’Brien attracted interest from Leeds United during the summer transfer window, with Marcelo Bielsa keen to lure the tenacious midfielder to Elland Road.
But the Terriers managed to keep hold of the 22-year-old, who has been a key player under Carlos Corberan since the Spaniard’s arrival at the John Smith’s Stadium.
O’Brien recently signed a new four-year deal at Huddersfield, committing his future to the Terriers.
But Football Insider have reported that Huddersfield inserted a £10m release clause in O’Brien’s contract when getting him to sign a new deal.
Should Town fans be worried? Here, we discuss…
Yes, they should be worried.
As is often the case when players of a potential to play in divisions higher than their club’s current standing, a release clause will be a key factor in them signing a new contract, with the knowledge they are still likely to get a move.
It keeps both parties happy for the timebeing but particularly with Leeds’ tricky start to the season their hand may be forced in January. If Huddersfield Town are not competing at the top end of the Championship then a move seems likely in January or the summer.
Unless there is a drop-off in form to deter O’Brien’s current admirers then an exit with that release clause being triggered looks likely. The Terriers are in their last season of parachute payments and therefore recouping a £10 million transfer fee will be desirable.
It must have been a huge relief for Huddersfield supporters when they saw that Lewis O’Brien had agreed to sign a new contract with the Terriers to commit his future to the club after a summer of speculation linking him to Leeds United.
However, O’Brien was always going to want assurances that if a Premier League team like Leeds came in with a strong enough offer that Huddersfield would not stand in his way.
That is why the decision to include a £10 million release clause in his new contract was needed and it was a sensible step for Huddersfield to ensure that if and when he does leave they will get at least a decent fee for him.
Leeds seemed reluctant to pay the sort of fee that Huddersfield demanded for O’Brien in the summer, and so his £10 million release clause is not one that you can see them instantly activating.
In that sense, there is not anything major to be concerned about at the moment for Huddersfield supporters.
Having said that, the possibility will always be there that another side could weigh up his performances for Huddersfield and decide that he is worth a £10 million outlay. There would then be little the Terriers could do to stop him leaving.
It should be a concern, but it is a better concern to have than risking him leaving for nothing which was the case before he signed a new deal.
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Seeing Lewis O’Brien sign a new contract will have had many Huddersfield fans breathing a huge sigh of relief but I don’t think they’re out of the woods just yet.
He’s been hugely impressive and should that form continue I’d suggest there will be interest in him once again.
I’d be surprised if that came from Leeds United in January in all honesty given they splashed £25 million on Dan James late in the window but we know they’re keen on the midfielder.
Even so, with the clause in the contract the Terriers know that they’re just one bid away from losing one of their key players.
That will be a concern among some fans but alternatively, they’re guaranteed an eight-figure fee for him.
There are positives and negatives, for sure.