As a club that has become noted for having a fine blend of youth domestic talent and interesting signings from afar, Leeds United have become well-regarded for their squad development. The arrival of Marcelo Bielsa and previously Victor Orta into key positions at the club has revolutionised the way that the Whites buy players.
However, while some expected a continental revolution in Yorkshire, Bielsa has found time to give plenty of opportunity to exciting English and British players. Another name who could be soon added to that list is Lewis O’Brien.
The midfielder currently played for Huddersfield Town. Reports from the town suggest that the player has been offered a new contract at the Terriers. However, with reports of a Leeds bid set to arrive in January or the summer of 2022, could the player look to avoid signing terms to keep the chance for a career upgrade alive?
O’Brien, 22, has been seen as a potential addition to the Leeds side for some time. They moved for the player in the 2021 summer, but a fee of £8m was seen as too large for a player with his current experience level. O’Brien, then, could see new terms provided to a player who has shown to be at least Championship tier standard in a bid to ward off interest from Leeds.
For the players part, the failure to arrive at Leeds was seen as a huge blow – reports suggest the player was extremely keen to make the move. A failure to make the transition from one Yorkshire team to another, though, offers another season of Championship football to further cement his credentials.
Leeds, then, will likely return to bid for the player once again if he does not agree new terms.
Will Lewis O’Brien sign a new deal?
It is hard to say at present, but a report in The Yorkshire Live suggest that a deal is potentially close to completion. In the report, it is noted that “O’Brien signed his current deal in summer 2019 just before his emergence into the first team, and that deal is set to expire next summer – albeit the club hold the option to extend it by another year.
“Both parties would now like to ensure O’Brien’s deal is reflective of his value to Carlos Corberan’s side, which in turn would help protect his valuation in the transfer market should Leeds or any other club return with a renewed bid in future.”
The failure to pick up a new central midfielder is seen as a major black mark on the summer signings. The much-vaunted arrival of Noa Lang on the wings never took place, with Dan James instead signed from rivals Manchester United. O’Brien was seen as the ideal profile of midfielder – young, ambitious, capable of improving but already at a good level – and also seen as affordable enough.
With the Leeds midfield in need of fresh eyes and legs, O’Brien might be one they return for to try and finish off their seasonal spending when January comes around. If that new deal is signed, though, it is another Bielsa target who got away.