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…
Watford are reportedly interested in a deal to sign Sheffield United defender Kean Bryan according to The Sun on Sunday (11th April, page 67).
Bryan has found regular game time hard to come by this season with the Blades, who are fighting a losing battle in their bid to survive in the Premier League this term.
The full-back has made 12 appearances in all competitions this term, and will be hoping they can finish this year’s campaign strongly.
Bryan has been with the club since 2018, having signed on a free transfer, after previously been on the books with Manchester City.
A move to Vicarage Road could tempt Bryan, with Watford well-placed to win promotion back into the Premier League at the first time of asking under the management of Xisco Munoz.
The Hornets are currently sat second in the Championship table, and are nine points clear of third-placed Brentford, as they head into their final five matches of this year’s campaign.
But would Bryan be a good signing for Watford?
It could be worth a punt.
I’m a bit wary of Bryan as he has never been a regular starter for Sheffield United before this season. He even spent part of last season on loan in League One with Bolton.
An injury crisis has helped him step into the first team at Bramall Lane and put himself in the shop window.
He’d obviously be available to sign on a free transfer, and for a player of his age, it could be worth a gamble as there is still potential there.
He can fill in at centre-half or at right-back, so he could be perfect for the Hornets’ wing-back system if Kiko Femenia leaves.
I’m not entirely convinced on this one for Watford in all honesty.
Admittedly, Bryan does seem to be one of the few players who can emerge from what has been a rather catastrophic season for Sheffield United with some credit, meaning he could still be a useful asset in the top-flight next season.
However, when I look at the squad Watford have available to them at this moment in time, it does seem as though they have more than enough defensive options available to them, who are reliable options at the back, with plenty of time remaining in both their careers, and their contracts at Vicarage Road.
As a result, in a transfer market where clubs may well be limited financially by the impact of the past 12 months or so, it does feel to me as though Watford could be better off going after players who may be able to strengthen positions in their squad that look to be in greater need of reinforcement ahead of a potential Premier League return.
Are these facts about the Watford badge true or false?
This would be a solid enough edition to Watford’s squad for next season with Kean Bryan having the ability to play in a couple of positions in the backline which might be important for the Hornets if they were to earn promotion to the top-flight and were to suffer injury issues to their defence.
It would not be a signing that would excite supporters though, with Bryan having had to bide his time before eventually getting a chance in Sheffield United’s team as a result of injuries this term. In a very difficult situation, the defender has performed as well as could have been expected for the Blades this term in his appearances.
You would argue that Bryan might struggle to get himself straight into Watford’s starting line-up next season, but he would certainly be a useful option to have to rotate with other defensive options.
The 24-year-old also has a few more years left to develop before he comes into his prime years, so Watford might be able to get the best out of him for a long period were he to perform well at Vicarage Road. It would be a low cost and low-risk signing for them to make.