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Forget Willock: Bruce must land £4m-rated machine who's "like having two players" - opinion

Football FanCast logo Football FanCast 04/05/2021 Vijievan Jeevathayalan
a football player on a field: Lewis O'Brien battling for the ball © Provided by Football FanCast Lewis O'Brien battling for the ball

Newcastle are on the trail of Huddersfield midfielder Lewis O’Brien, and could be set to make a move for him in the summer.

What’s the story?

Prior to the 2-0 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday afternoon, the Magpies had enjoyed a bit of a revival, with two wins and two draws in four games – much of that inspired by some late heroics from Arsenal loanee Joe Willock.

Now, The Sun claim that Steve Bruce’s side are eyeing up O’Brien as a potentially less expensive option if they can’t land their no.1 transfer target in Willock.

The report adds that even though Huddersfield have now secured survival in the Championship, they will struggle to keep hold of the £4m-rated O’Brien.

Bargain deal for Bruce

While of course the priority is to sign Willock given his goal-scoring form in recent weeks, O’Brien would still be quite the shrewd signing for the Magpies.

The 22-year-old offers a similar sort of box-to-box presence like the Gunners starlet, and has bagged three goals and provided a further three assists in the Championship this season.

But, it’s not just his contributions going forward that really make him stand out however, with Huddersfield Town writer Steven Chicken waxing lyrical about the kind of intensity that he plays with.

He said: “O’Brien is a left-footed, tough-tackling central midfielder. Former Huddersfield boss Danny Cowley often praised O’Brien as being “like having two players”, with the midfielder receiving particular praise from his manager and fans alike for his ability and willingness to rush back and win the ball with a clean sliding tackle whenever his side were caught on the counter-attack.

“He certainly has the potential to be (a Premier League player), if he’s not already. His fitness is incredible and he just never seems to get tired, which is one of the biggest difficulties Championship players have when stepping up to the Premier League.”

At 22, O’Brien also has the time to grow and develop into a real Premier League star just like Willock, but crucially would come much cheaper. If Bruce is looking for a cheaper alternative this summer, then he could land a real smart deal in signing the Terriers ace.

Meanwhile, Newcastle are heading for a major disaster over this Premier League star…

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