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…
The report states that Brighton, Burnley, Crystal Palace and Wolves are providing Premier League comeptiton for the 23-year-old’s services, whilst Leeds United have maintained their interested stance since the start of the 2021/22 campaign.
Huddersfield are currently challenging for promotion to the Premier League, with O’Brien’s future with the West Yorkshire club set to depend on whether or not promotion can be achieved.
Once again proving to be one of the division’s top performers, O’Brien featured 43 times for the Terriers in the league this season, scoring three times and providing a further three assists.
Three of our writers here at FLW have shared their thoughts regarding Southampton’s interest in the young midfielder…
The ultimate Huddersfield Town end of season quiz – We’ll be impressed if you score above 80% on this
It is only a matter of time before Lewis O’Brien moves to a Premier League club and he would fit in very nicely under Ralph Hasenhuttl at Southampton.
The 23-year-old signing a long term contract with the Terriers at the start of the season puts them in a strong position, but a release clause has likely been agreed in his contract, to trigger negotiations with a buying club.
The only way O’Brien stays this summer is if the club win promotion to the top-flight via the play-offs, and the all action midfielder would offer an excellent alternative to Oriol Romeu on the South Coast next season.
The consistency of O’Brien’s performances this season would have turned many heads in the Premier League, and he would be a very smart addition for the Saints this summer.
You get the feeling this could be a rather good signing for Southampton if they get it done.
O’Brien has been outstanding in the Championship for Huddersfield this season, helping the Terriers mount a strong push for promotion that very few saw coming.
As a result, it does now seem as though O’Brien is ready to make the step up to the Premier League, and at 23-year-old, he does present Southampton with a longer term option than the majority of their current midfielders.
That could make this an important signing from both an immediate – as the Saints look for a spark to kick on from another underwhelming season – and future perspective, and with the level of interest there is from other top-flight clubs, this could be Southampton’s best chance to sign O’Brien, so they should surely try to take it while they have the chance.
It’s a big call and he’s got a long way to go but Lewis O’Brien could become the long-term replacement for James Ward-Prowse in central midfield.
He’s not on the same level from dead-ball situations and could perhaps do with sharpening his distribution but all the raw attributes are there.
It’s no surprise that there are so many Premier League club – six by the latest report – showing an interest in him and for £12 million (his reported release clause) he could be a phenomenal addition for someone.
He’ll be in the Premier League at some point but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he had another season in the Championship to work on his craft.
That’s not to say he couldn’t have an impact in the top flight this season.