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
Leeds United are interested in signing Huddersfield Town midfielder Lewis O’Brien, according to Alan Nixon.
The Whites are in the market for midfield reinforcements this summer, with O’Brien said to have emerged as a target for Marcelo Bielsa.
O’Brien made 42 appearances in the Championship under Carlos Corberan last season, scoring three goals and chipping in with three assists.
The 22-year-old is known for his energy and tenacity in midfield, and could be set to make the move to Elland Road in the near future.
Here, we discuss Leeds’ interest in the midfielder…
O’Brien is definitely a really good Championship midfielder, however I have my doubts about him stepping up to a club with European aspirations in the near future.
He’s obviously come on leaps and bounds over the last few years, especially since his loan spell at Bradford City, and he’s even shown himself to be quite versatile in the sense that he’s filled in at left-back and also on the wing.
But his best role is as a combative, box-to-box midfielder and even though Leeds could do with another one of those for a bit more depth, I don’t think Leeds would be the greatest move for him right now.
Obviously Marcelo Bielsa is a master at improving players and he could potentially take O’Brien to that next level, but I don’t necessarily see him getting much game-time at Elland Road.
I could see O’Brien being a better fit at a club like Burnley, Norwich City or Brentford, and maybe one of those clubs will splash out on him but I just don’t see the 22-year-old being a Leeds player next season.
In a disappointing season for Huddersfield, O’Brien was a rare bright spark. His ability on the ball, attack-minded nature, and composure when in tight areas, all make him a very exciting prospect and it is no real surprise to see Premier League interest.
The exciting, attacking football that Bielsa has instilled into his Leeds side suits O’Brien and at just 22, he plays with a maturity way beyond his years.
He is also tenacious and energetic on the press – another two aspects of his game that match the Leeds way.
Premier League football is a massive step up, but O’Brien has the tools to become a brilliant player. His departure would leave a massive void in Huddersfield’s midfield and is something that would require urgent attention.
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I think he’d be great for Leeds, he’s at the right age to take his game to the next level and he will come cheaper than other players in his position.
He largely plays as a box to box player who can contribute at both ends of the field and I think he’s someone who would suit Bielsa’s style of play.
He wouldn’t necessarily be a starter straight away but I see no reason why he can’t develop into one moving forwards as he improves.
Whether he can make the step up to the Premier League is another matter entirely, as I think he might struggle with the intensity in some cases.
But all in all this would be a very smart move for the Whites to make as he is still only 22.