Leeds United are closing in on the signing of Huddersfield Town midfielder Lewis O’Brien for a fee in the region of £7million.
The Whites were given a 5-1 hiding by Manchester United at Old Trafford in the season opener on Saturday. Similar to what happened in the same fixture last season, they were played out of the park by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side. Marcelo Bielsa barely had players to bring off the bench to make an impact and avoid another embarrassment at the hands of his club’s bitterest rivals.
Leeds United have so far signed Junior Firpo and Kristoffer Klaesson, whilst turning Jack Harrison’s loan move permanently from Manchester City. The Whites boss Marcelo Bielsa is in the market for a few more additions, with Huddersfield Town midfielder Lewis O’Brien at the top of his shortlist all summer.
Lewis O’Brien, 22, has entered the final year of his contract with Huddersfield Town, though the Championship club have the option to extend his stay by another 12 months. He missed the Terriers’ first two games of the new Championship campaign due to testing positive for Covid-19 but played 70 minutes in the 1-0 win over Preston North End on Tuesday.
Leeds United are now believed to have agreed a fee of £7million with Huddersfield for O’Brien, who is keen on testing himself in the Premier League.
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Leeds United must improve their squad for another top-half finish
Leeds United were very good as a newly-promoted Premier League outfit last season, blowing away many teams with their rip-roaring, high-octane and counter-pressing brand of football. The energy and intensity with which they have been playing under Marcelo Bielsa over the last couple of years have also seen injuries pile up.
To persist with the unique style of football that has earned Bielsa and his team many plaudits, the Whites must further improve their squad. With less than two weeks left before the transfer window closes down, Bielsa must try bringing in at least a couple of new players.
The Peacocks need more depth in midfield
Kalvin Phillips is arguably Bielsa’s most important player at Elland Road. The defensive midfielder, who shone for England in Euro 2020, makes Leeds tick with his energy, pressing, tackling and passing ability.
Without Phillips’ presence in the team last season, the Whites often struggled to impose their authority over the opposition. The latest example of Bielsa’s team without the 25-year-old Englishman was the 5-1 mauling at Old Trafford last weekend. Robin Koch was used in the holding role a couple of times last season as well as in the 5-1 defeat to Manchester United and he got completely exposed playing out of position.
Lewis O’Brien could be a decent acquisition for Leeds
Thus, signing a midfielder is so vital for Leeds and Lewis O’Brien would be a good fit in Bielsa’s system.
O’Brien is an energetic, committed and tough-tackling midfielder who gives it all on the field, providing significant contributions both defensively and in possession. He possesses the discipline and defensive tenacity to play alongside Phillips or in a bit advanced midfield role.
The Colchester-born player is only 22 and still has a lot to improve in his game. Bielsa could be the right manager to help elevate his game by ironing out the little technical and tactical imperfections. However, should O’Brien secure a move to Leeds, the real test is going to be how he adapts to the step up to the Premier League.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.