This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
West Bromwich Albion are preparing a summer move for Kean Bryan, according to reports from Football Insider.
The Baggies are looking to strengthen their squad ahead of the new campaign following their relegation from the Premier League under Sam Allardyce last term.
Sheffield United’s centre-back is facing an uncertain future with his contract at Bramall Lane due to expire next week, and with no deal yet agreed, it seems that the 24-year-old could be set to move on.
Such a move would be a big addition for West Brom, but would Kean Bryan be a good signing for the recently-relegated side?
The team at FLW have their say…
Branislav Ivanovic is the only senior central defender to have left West Brom this summer, so if this is a replacement, the Baggies will be going from experience to inexperience.
It’s surprising to think Bryan is already 24 with a striking lack of senior minutes in his career.
In fact, the centre-back played more last season (12) than he has most other campaigns, with his only full season of professional football coming on loan at Oldham Athletic a few years ago.
Now he has managed to break into the Blades’ first team and make a decent number of appearances in the top flight, grabbing the headlines when he scored at Old Trafford last season, Bryan will be looking for a brighter future.
West Brom need to bolster their backline, so having someone like Bryan (who will not be short on motivation) will be great for the Baggies and their new manager – and managing to sign him on a free is the cherry on top really.
A two-year deal would probably be ideal, giving Bryan sufficient time to prove himself and allowing the West Midlands side to cut their ties if it doesn’t work out.
Quiz: Did each of these 20 midfielders ever score a goal for West Brom?
It’d be a smart addition by the Baggies, as he is a player who offers versatility in two key areas of the pitch.
They could utilise him at centre back or in the midfield, meaning that he covers both bases for when injuries occur.
Realistically speaking I can’t see him being a regular starter but much of his playing time will depend on who the manager will be.
He’s certainly a player that they need and it would be a wise move considering that he is unlikely to get much game time under Jokanovic at Sheffield United.
This is sure to be a move that Bryan would love and Albion should definitely firm up their interest.
On a free transfer, I can see why West Brom may be keen on a deal here.
The Baggies relied quite heavily on loanees in the Premier League last term, certainly in midfield, and with Bryan able to operate in a central defensive midfield role, it could be an astute addition in-terms of squad depth.
The 24-year-old can be utilised as a centre-back too so it’d give whoever the new Baggies manger is a versatile option to have in the squad, just what you need in a long, arduous Championship campaign.
He didn’t play loads for the Blades last term and he’s a player who you feel needs a fresh start and a consistent run of game-time to reach his potential, but if West Brom can embed him in and utilise him often, he could be a really strong addition.
Bryan is comfortable on the ball, strong in the tackle and has a good range of passing and has the qualities to adapt to the rigours and demands of second tier football.
So, on a. free transfer, you can see the sense in this from a Baggies perspective.