Premier League club could ruin Sheffield United’s midfield plans

Sheffield United and Middlesbrough target, Lewis O’Brien, is now being linked with newly promoted Premier League side Ipswich Town, according to a report from Alan Nixon.

The Nottingham Forest midfielder is all but certain to depart the City Ground this summer, and the 25-year-old is not short on options.

O’Brien made 23 appearances for Michael Carrick’s Middlesbrough, despite enduring a lengthy injury absence from the end of September to the beginning of January. During his time on the pitch, he delivered several impressive performances in midfield, contributing significantly to Boro’s 8th place finish.

As the summer transfer window approaches, O’Brien is likely to leave Nottingham Forest as the club seeks to balance its finances in accordance with Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations. A move could see him continue his career in the Premier League next season with Ipswich Town, or in the Championship with either Boro or the Blades.

The versatile midfielder should come cheap to either of the Championship sides as the Reds want to get rid of players they deem surplus to requirements. If the Tractor Boys open negotiations then Forest will be a lot more demanding because they are seen as potential relegation rivals. Such negotiations could put Ipswich off and leave the door open to the other teams.

BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND – JULY 20: Lewis O’Brien of Nottingham Forest during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Nottingham Forest and Hertha Berlin at Pirelli Stadium on July 20, 2022 in Burton-upon-Trent, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Sheffield United will be in the market for midfielders

Sheffield United will certainly be in the market for midfielders this summer as they attempt to reshape their team. With Oliver Norwood being set for release at the end of his contract in a few weeks time, acquiring one or two players experienced in the rigours of Championship matches is crucial.

Both manager Chris Wilder and the supporters have made it clear that they want the team to be built around Oliver Arblaster and Gustavo Hamer.

In Arblaster, United have a highly rated midfielder on their hands and he did not look out of place in the Premier League, having standout performances against the likes of Chelsea etc.

In Hamer, the Blades have a top-class Championship midfielder capable of providing goals and assists in abundance, and he has even demonstrated his ability to perform at the Premier League level.

It is a strong probability that Sheffield United will sell Brazilian midfielder Vinicius Souza this summer. And the Blades can expect to pocket at the very least £10 million from any sale. Ismaila Coulibaly could also be sold. This could mean United might be needing at least three new midfield players.

Lewis O’Brien would provide Sheffield United with significantly more energy in midfield compared to Vinicius Souza this season. With genuine box-to-box abilities, O’Brien is known for his tenacity and work rate, even though he is not the most physically imposing midfielder.

His left-footed play also adds valuable balance to the team’s midfield dynamic. Another player the Blades are likely to consider is Alex Mowatt, a left-footed midfielder who looks to be leaving West Brom. Additionally, Sheffield United are interested in signing former Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Steven Alzate, who is quite similar to O’Brien.

Tags Lewis O'Brien