The club are said to have held an interest in signing the Huddersfield Town midfielder in the summer but were unable to strike a deal with the Championship club.
What’s the latest with Leeds?
Leeds pursued O’Brien throughout the transfer window, with Huddersfield’s chairman Phil Hodgkinson since claiming that Huddersfield rejected a £13m bid for the midfielder.
The 23-year-old has been with the club since 2019 and has been hailed by his manager, Carlos Corberan, as “very special” after captaining the side during their 1-1 draw with Barnsley.
O’Brien has captained Huddersfield more than once this season and Leeds seem to believe that he could come into the club and make an impact.
Last season, prior to Leeds’ first bid, he made 42 appearances in the Championship, scoring three times and registering three assists.
He is capable of playing in a variety of positions, too, as he was deployed in central midfied, attacking midfield, and even at left-back throughout the campaign.
That will be familiar for Bielsa, who has utilised players such as Stuart Dallas in a similar way at Elland Road.
And O’Rourke thinks that the club will look to do a deal for him, again, in January.
What did O’Rourke say?
He told GiveMeSport: “Bielsa will be hoping to get his way, maybe to get some players in in January and O’Brien is definitely still on his list.
“It’s just depending on whether the price is right for Leeds and for Huddersfield for any deal to happen.”
Aubameyang and Arteta fallout revealed! Hear more on The Football Terrace…
Do Leeds need new recruits?
In short, yes.
They’ve struggled immensely recently, with that poor form coming to a head in their thumping 7-0 loss to Manchester City last week.
The small squad at Elland Road has seemingly come back to bite Bielsa as a number of players have been ruled out in recent weeks.
The likes of Kalvin Phillips, Liam Cooper, Patrick Bamford, Rodrigo, Daniel James, Pascal Struijk and Robin Koch have all missed games this season, per Premier Injuries, and Leeds need bodies to strengthen the squad.
Phillips is facing up to a two-month lay off with his hamstring injury, and bringing in a new midfielder in January, especially one who can play in a number of positions, would make a great deal of sense for the club.
It remains to be seen if O’Brien would cost more or less than the £13m bid Huddersfield claim to have rejected but a deal at around that price would add both a body and real quality into the squad.