West Brom: Cox makes Lewis O’Brien transfer claim
Lewis Cox of The Express & Star has played down the chances of West Bromwich Albion signing Lewis O’Brien before the transfer window closes.
The Lowdown: West Brom were favourites
Elias Burke of The Athletic claimed yesterday that Carlos Corberan’s side were the favourites to land the Nottingham Forest midfielder.
O’Brien has played 13 times in the Premier League for Forest, scoring once this season.
Earlier on deadline day, the Baggies acquired Nathaniel Chalobah from Premier League outfit Fulham on a permanent deal.
And it appears that West Brom’s progress on this particular deal has left Cox casting doubt over O’Brien arriving at The Hawthorns.
The Latest: Cox plays down O’Brien links
Prior to Chalobah’s move being confirmed, Cox spoke about the Baggies’ potential transfer business on The Express & Star’s YouTube channel and said that he doesn’t think that the club would bring in two midfielders on deadline day.
He stated: “We’ve heard today that possibly Sheffield United won’t be going [for O’Brien]; maybe it depends if they move one on. Blackburn have also been mentioned today, haven’t they, so where that leaves Albion, I’m not sure.
“I think from what I gather and have read, certainly, that Albion are no longer in that market.
“I wouldn’t have necessarily expected two midfielders anyway, so the fact that Chalobah’s progressing, I don’t think there’s life left in the O’Brien link.”
The Verdict: Baggies have what they need
We believe that with Chalobah coming in through the door, Albion have enough cover in the midfield position and that an O’Brien swoop wouldn’t make much sense now.
O’Brien certainly would’ve been a combative option to have in the middle of the park, as last season he ranked in the top 5% for ground duels won in the Championship when he was at Huddersfield Town.
It’s no wonder Corberan wanted to sign the midfielder as he managed him when they were both with the Terriers – while he’s spoken very highly of him in the past.
The Baggies boss described the 24-year-old as a ‘very special talent’, as quoted by The Yorkshire Post.
However, Chalobah is no slouch, he’s a well-travelled journeyman. The 28-year-old has played his football for a number of different sides across England on loan and even had a brief stint out in Italy.
In our view, West Brom could benefit from an additional experienced figure like Chalobah in their squad as they sit on the fringes of the play-off places, but we would be surprised if he is followed by O’Brien.