Lewis O’Brien has been out of favor at Nottingham Forest but an escape to MLS could be on the cards with a deal to sign for D.C. United reportedly close.
The payer has made just 13 Premier League appearances this season. He was close to joining Blackburn Rovers in January but the deadline was missed. The transfer window for MLS clubs closes on April 24, so there is still time for O’Brien to move to North America.
According to MLS insider Tom Bogert “D.C. United closing in on a deal to sign midfielder Lewis O’Brien on loan from Nottingham Forest. Not done yet but close. Would be a savvy, opportunistic signing by D.C. United.”
Is it a good move for Lewis O’Brien?
O’Brien has also been linked with other MLS teams including New York City, Columbus Crew and Atlanta United. All would have been solid options but the opportunity to play under Wayne Rooney at DC could be a vital factor in his decision to head to Washington.
Rooney is a Premier League legend who has also managed in the EFL with Derby County. He knows English and American soccer, so would be the man to get O’Brien’s career back on track.
Whilst O’Brien may have favored staying in England with Blackburn. That option is now not available until the summer, so his best bet is to join the Black-and-Red and get regular playing time.
O’Brien’s started his career at Huddersfield Town where he also spent time on loan at Bradford City. He has only played in England, so a move to the USA would be a chance for him to make a fresh start.
How is DC United getting on this season?
DC are currently eighth in the Eastern Conference. They have one win, one draw and now defeat. Their season began with a dramatic 3-2 victory over Toronto. New signing from Leeds United, Mateusz Klich opened the scoring for them but they needed late goals from Christian Benteke and Theodore Ku-DiPietro to claim the three points.
This followed a 2-0 defeat to Columbus Crew but they managed a point against Orlando City thanks to a late goal from Chris Durkin. Rooney’s side will play NYCFC this weekend.
DC finished bottom of the Eastern Conference last season, so there is definitely room for improvement. With the signings that they have made, they should be targeting a place in the playoffs.
O’Brien is a central midfielder so should form a good partnership with Klich. Rooney has recently cut Ravel Morrison from their squad, so there is space for O’Brien. The decision to cut Morrison is a strange one, he followed Rooney from Derby to DC and scored twice for the club last year but has now found himself in need of yet another club.
Morrison’s career has now included 13 different teams. O’Brien will be looking to not become a journeyman like his fellow Englishman. He needs to secure regular playing time and a move to MLS is his best option right now.