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James Garner vs Lewis O’Brien: Leeds United eye opposing Championship Play-off finalists

The Whites are eyeing midfield reinforcements...

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Nottingham Forest v Huddersfield Town - Sky Bet Championship
James Garner slides in on Lewis O’Brien.
Photo by John Early/Getty Images

Carlos Corberan’s Huddersfield take on Nottingham Forest this evening as they battle it out for the final spot in next season’s Premier League campaign. Victor Orta will certainly be watching the match, not least to see his former under-23s coach potentially earn himself a place in the promised land, but to watch two key midfielders on opposing sides.

Leeds United’s interest in Lewis O’Brien has been longstanding and in the headlines for a while now. It is no secret that Orta likes the 23-year-old. According to The Sun’s Alan Nixon, this interest remains, and Jesse Marsch has sanctioned a £10m move for the Huddersfield midfielder.

That said, it will depend on tonight’s play-off final outcome, as O’Brien looks to lead Huddersfield to The Premier League, and may well sign a new contract if the Terriers were to overcome Forest.

The Huddersfield academy product got his breakout season at Bradford City, scoring four and assisting three from 40 appearances before stepping up to Huddersfield’s first team in the 2019/20 campaign. He scored two and assisted four in Leeds’ Championship-winning season, before Carlos Corberan departed Marcelo Bielsa’s ranks to take over the struggling Terriers.

O’Brien remained a staple in the side, scoring three and assisting three in 42 appearances before doing the exact same this season in 43 matches. On the defensive end, he’s averaged 2.2 tackles per game and 0.8 interceptions (WhoScored.com).

On the other side, James Garner has had his own breakout season on loan at Nottingham Forest. The Manchester United midfielder is out to impress new manager, Erik ten Haag, but may have other suitors if the new manager doesn’t take a liking to the 21-year-old. Southampton and Leeds United both have Garner on their radar according to The Athletic, while Brenden Rodgers is also an admirer.

Garner has scored four and assisted eight this season, averaging 1.8 tackles per game and 1.4 interceptions, highlighting a slight difference in styles between him and O’Brien.

Who would you like to see Leeds United sign this summer? Let us know on Twitter @ThruitallLUFC.