Football Insider have revealed that Crystal Palace are keen on signing Huddersfield midfielder Lewis O’Brien.
The youngster, who has made 82 appearances for the Terriers over the last two years, has been linked with a move to Leeds this summer.
However, talks between the clubs appear to have stalled, with Leeds reportedly unwilling to match Huddersfield’s asking price for O’Brien.
Palace have now registered their interest, as they consider bringing in a third central midfielder during the current transfer window, having already signed Michael Olise and Conor Gallagher.
Would O’Brien be a good signing for the Eagles?
GIVEMESPORT’s Sam Brookes, Joshua Cole and Christy Malyan give their thoughts below…
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“Palace’s central midfield was a major weakness last season. With the likes of James McCarthy and James McArthur battling fitness issues, Roy Hodgson’s options in the middle of the park were very limited. If Patrick Vieira’s side can seal a deal for O’Brien, this could become a position of strength for the team this season.
“The south London club have already signed two emerging talents in Olise and Gallagher, and O’Brien could complement this pair perfectly. Last season, he scored three goals and provided three assists in the second tier, showing that he offers a threat in the final third, which is what Palace need more of from their midfield.
“Palace already have enough experience in midfield thanks to Luka Milivojevic, so continuing to focus on promoting youth such as O’Brien is the right approach for the team moving forwards.”
“With Palace aiming to push on under the guidance of Vieira this season, it is imperative that they get their transfer recruitment spot on in the coming weeks as a failure to do so could have a detrimental impact on their fortunes.
“Keeping this in mind, the Eagles ought to steer clear of swooping for O’Brien, as signing the midfielder would arguably be a massive waste of funds.
“Although the 22-year-old did manage to show glimpses of his undoubted talent in the Championship last season by ranking in the top five at the John Smith’s Stadium for key passes per game (1.1) and successful dribbles per match (1.3, as per WhoScored), he has yet to feature in the top-flight during his career.
“With there being no guarantee that O’Brien will be able to compete at the highest level, Palace ought to switch their focus to signing a midfielder who has a proven track record of delivering the goods in this division instead of being potentially drawn into a bidding war with Leeds United over the Huddersfield man.”
“It may sound like a very simple point, but for me this one all comes down to team selection. Having produced impressive averages of 2 tackles and 1.1 key passes per game last season, O’Brien looks like he’d add a bit more creativity to Palace’s midfield without taking away from the Eagles’ traditionally industrious nature.
“Nonetheless, there’s no escaping the fact he’s just 22 years old and hasn’t featured in the Premier League before. With Olise (another EFL product) and Gallagher (who has just one top-flight campaign under his belt) already arriving this summer, Vieira needs to ensure his side doesn’t become swamped with young and largely inexperienced talent – especially in midfield, where games are often won and lost.
“If Vieira can combine the likes of O’Brien, who boast promising potential, with some of Palace’s more experienced veterans like Luka Milivojevic, the Huddersfield man could prove to be a very wise investment. But if O’Brien ends up simply partnering Gallagher behind a more offensive Olise, Palace could find themselves on hidings to nothing more often than not.”