Fulham are reportedly locked in a transfer battle with Leeds United and Crystal Palace in the race to sign Huddersfield midfielder Lewis O’Brien.
A recent report from TEAMtalk has offered an update on the future of Championship hotshot Lewis O’Brien. The Englishman is staring at an uncertain future in the second tier of English football after Huddersfield Town lost the promotion play-off final last Sunday, with a host of lower mid-table Premier League clubs, including Crystal Palace and Leeds United, keeping tabs on his situation.
The Terriers are adamant about keeping hold of O’Brien and still hope to tie him down to fresh terms. However, that scenario seems improbable at the moment, since there is an exit clause – believed to be worth closer to £12 million – inserted in the extension that he signed in January to rule out a winter move elsewhere.
The 23-year-old played a starring role in guiding Carlos Corberan’s side to reach the Championship play-off final. Huddersfield ultimately came up short in the 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest at Wembley, but O’Brien still stood out with a bright display, pulling the strings from the middle of the park for the Terriers.
As such, O’Brien has been one of the Championship’s standout players once again this season. He started in 43 games for Huddersfield in the Championship and was directly involved in six goals (three goals, three assists).
O’Brien appears to have done more than enough to deserve a move to the top flight this summer following such an impressive campaign at the John Smith’s Stadium with a slew of Premier League teams vying for his services this summer.
Described as a hardworking young midfielder with a knack for tackling, combined with his array of long and short passing to keep things ticking along, O’Brien would be an excellent addition to a lot of middling Premier League clubs and is available for a cut-price fee.
Leeds, for one, know all about O’Brien and have previously shown an interest in bringing him to Elland Road to supplement Kalvin Phillips in the past. A deal never materialised, but that could be set to change this summer. A move for the young playmaker might be a necessity for Leeds, considering the alarming lack of midfield depth behind Phillips, who is also being courted by a few of Premier League top guns.
Patrick Vieira has got a head-start on signings, with the acquisition of free agent goalkeeper Sam Johnstone nearing completion. The Crystal Palace boss will be eager to build on this season’s progress. And while O’Brien appears shrewd business, there are few doubts over whether the Huddersfield midfielder will be able to deliver the high-energy, intensity and pressing attributes that Vieira demands from his midfield.
Newly-promoted Fulham have also joined the Bandwagon of suitors for the English midfielder. The London giants are looking to bolster their squad ahead of their return to the top flight and there is a gap to fill in the midfield, with Jean Michael Seri set to leave as a free agent. O’Brien, to that end, could potentially be a great addition for the Cottagers as they seek to buck the trend of being a yo-yo club and retain their Premier League status next season.