Nottingham Forest: Lewis O’Brien eyeing loan exit
Nottingham Forest midfielder Lewis O’Brien could be set to leave on loan amid interest from the MLS, according to reports in the last 48 hours.
The Lowdown: Out of favour
The Premier League playmaker made the move to The City Ground from Huddersfield Town last summer but has fallen out of favour after scoring just one goal in 17 appearances under Steve Cooper.
The 24-year-old came close to joining Blackburn Rovers in January but the EFL blocked the move due to the relevant paperwork not being completed by the deadline, despite an appeal.
The Reds star was therefore left out of the 25-man squad submitted for the second half of the season, with reports since suggesting that he’s now looking to seal a temporary exit.
The Latest: O’Brien attracting interest
According to The Sun, O’Brien is being targeted by MLS clubs New York City, Columbus Crew and Atlanta United, who all ‘want’ the Forest ace.
The Colchester-born talent is ‘waiting to speak’ to the trio of potential suitors, and with the American transfer window still open, the Midlands outfit could ‘heavily fund’ a loan deal.
The Verdict: Best for both parties
O’Brien has been labelled an ‘exceptional’ player by his former Huddersfield manager Carlos Corberan, but Forest letting him leave would be the best outcome for both parties.
The Palm Sports Management client has only made six league starts all season and was averaging just 0.5 shots and 0.4 interceptions per game prior to his absence, showing that he wasn’t making a significant enough impact (WhoScored).
Cooper omitted the 5 foot 8 player from the match-day squad for nine of his side’s 24 top-flight outings this term and was on the bench for two of them, showing how far down the pecking order he is (Transfermarkt).
Forest could do with shortening their numbers and O’Brien will be in desperate need of regular game time so sanctioning an exit would be completely the right decision.