In January, when Newcastle were on the prowl for a midfielder to add to the ranks, Huddersfield’s Lewis O’Brien was named as a potential target.
At the time, it was thought that Huddersfield could be forced to cash in on their Academy product due to his contract running out in 2022. However, it’s since come to light that Huddersfield may have an option to extend him to 2023.
The 22-year-old has excelled for Huddersfield over the past few seasons despite their struggles in the Championship. The Terriers may have a fight on their hands in holding on to O’Brien this summer.
The Sun is reporting that Newcastle are still interested in the tenacious midfielder. However, he may only be targetted if a deal for Joe Willock to return next season cannot be agreed with Arsenal.
The report cites Arsenal’s £20m valuation of Willock as being too much for Newcastle this summer. Bruce denied that Newcastle had been quoted that amount for Willock. During his press conference this morning, he seemed to be referencing another loan deal for the 21-year-old.
But if nothing can be worked out, O’Brien may be seen as a cheaper alternative at a reported £4m. He is the type of player, though without top-flight experience, who would add something to Newcastle’s midfield in that he can carry the ball forward and create while also being a ball-winner.
So while the prevailing hope is to get Willock back next season in some capacity, O’Brien is a promising young midfielder who has some versatility. He also may fit the Mike Ashley profile more than Southampton’s Mario Lemina, who could be available for £7m this summer should Fulham not take up their purchase option.