Lewis O’Brien looks set to head back to Nottingham Forest when his loan with D.C. United ends next week. The talented midfielder has been on loan with the MLS outfit since February.
Wayne Rooney has taken O’Brien under his wing since he’s been playing for the Washington-based outfit. He has played pretty much every minute since arriving on loan from Forest.
Now, it looks as though the player will be returning to the City Ground. His final appearance for the MLS outfit could come next Saturday against Inter Miami.
O’Brien was surprisingly omitted from the Forest 25-man squad when it was resubmitted in January. He had made 14 appearances during the first half of the Premier League campaign and didn’t look out of place.
A loan move to Blackburn was set to happen during the January transfer window. They didn’t submit the relevant paperwork in time, however, and the player was left with limited options.
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Rooney took a chance on him and he’s not disappointed. He’s earned some praise from his boss but the man who used to manage Derby has confirmed that a deal to extend his loan looks to be off.
He told The Washington Post: “It’s probably looking more likely that Lewis will be going back to England. We haven’t managed to get an agreement with Nottingham Forest.
“We knew what it was. He’s been fantastic for us since he’s come in – a player of great character.”
O’Brien set to return to Forest next week
The midfielder will seemingly get a farewell game for United but a return to Forest looks to be on the cards. O’Brien will likely link up with training ahead of the club’s pre-season trips to PSV and Eintracht Frankfurt.
It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the Forest man. He will be desperate to play regular first-team football but the jury is out over whether he will do that at the City Ground.
Forest finished the season with a midfielder trio of Danilo, Ryan Yates and Orel Mangala. The three were impressive and it’s hard to imagine O’Brien forcing any of those players out of the reckoning.
Still, he could be a useful player from the bench. Cheikhou Kouyate and Remo Freuler are in reserve but the 24-year-old perhaps has more of a presence when it comes to carrying the ball forward.
Forest head coach Cooper is a big fan of O’Brien. Where he fits him in next season remains to be seen, however, with Forest likely to add another midfielder during the summer transfer window.