Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper was urged to sign Lewis O’Brien by midfielder Ryan Yates. The 24-year-old signed from Huddersfield during the summer but has now joined D.C. United on a season-long loan.
The Athletic has now claimed that Cooper sought advice from his trusted vice-captain in the summer. The 43-year-old wanted a ball-carrying midfielder adding to his ranks and Yates endorsed O’Brien.
Yates came up against O’Brien on several occasions during the 2021/22 campaign. The Forest man came out on top more often than not but he’s clearly a huge fan of O’Brien.
The pair are not too dissimilar. Whereas Yates is more combative than O’Brien, the man who shone for Huddersfield is perhaps more competent when it comes to turning defence into attack.
It’s a shame how things have worked out for O’Brien at the City Ground. He made 14 appearances during his time at the club but fell down the pecking order after the World Cup.
Interestingly, the player who has recently departed was omitted from the 25-man squad at a time when Yates suffered an injury. Had O’Brien been registered, he may well have got another chance to shine.
Cooper urged to sign O’Brien by Yates
This is quite an interesting piece of information. It seems clear that Cooper has some say on the recruitment and he’s not afraid to let his players weigh in with their opinions too.
Yates has grown as a leader under the watchful eye of Cooper. He rates him highly and his form in the last 12 months has essentially made a mockery of his critics in the past.
O’Brien’s omission from the squad was a shame. Ultimately, however, Forest were getting results around the Jannuary transfer window and perhaps he can count himself unfortunate.
It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the talented midfielder. Hopefully, he can return to Forest with fire in his belly and show the Reds faithful exactly what he’s capable of.