Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper didn’t want Lewis O’Brien to leave during the January transfer window. The Reds had sanctioned a move to Blackburn for the midfielder but it was cancelled at the eleventh hour.

The falling through of the deal proved disastrous for O’Brien. He was left in limbo after Forest submitted their 25-man squad for the second half of the campaign with the 24-year-old omitted.

Cooper O'Brien leave
(Photo; Marc Atkins; Getty Images)

The man who starred for Huddersfield last season was a summer signing made by the Reds. He cost the club £10 million and made 14 appearances for Forest during the first half of the season.

O’Brien has now joined D.C. United on loan for the remainder of 2022/23. He has joined Wayne Rooney’s team and has the potential to be a real star of the show in the MLS.

Now, it’s been claimed that Cooper didn’t want O’Brien to leave. It’s been claimed by The Athletic that the head coach was keen to keep the player around at the City Ground.

It’s suggested that O’Brien pushed for the move. He craved regular first-team football and Cooper didn’t want to stop him from doing that given how professional he’d been during his time out of the team.

The head coach praised O’Brien earlier in the season. He called him a ‘fantastic lad’ and it now seems clear that it wasn’t really Cooper’s decision to let him leave.

Cooper didn’t want O’Brien to leave

The head coach is as honest as the day is long. If he says that he didn’t want O’Brien to leave then there is no reason to disregard it as fake news.

Cooper O'Brien leave
(Photo; Michael Regan; Getty Images)

The youngster offered something different to the other midfielders in the team. He is capable of turning defence into attack very quickly and that is something Forest have lacked lately.

The good news appears to be that Forest have no desire to close the door on O’Brien. There is a clause in the deal for the player to make a permanent move to the MLS but the Reds see him in their future place so that is unlikely.

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