Former West Bromwich Albion striker Kevin Phillips has revealed that he believes Kean Bryan could potentially benefit from the absence of Dara O’Shea.
Bryan was signed by the Baggies on a free transfer after the extent of O’Shea’s injury was revealed earlier this month.
As confirmed by the club’s official website, the 22-year-old is set to be out of action for six months after fracturing his ankle and suffering ligament damage whilst on international duty with the Republic of Ireland.
Having agreed a two-year deal with West Brom, Bryan will now be looking to make his mark at The Hawthorns in the coming weeks.
Yet to feature for his new side, it may take the defender some time to build up his fitness as he didn’t take part in pre-season this summer after opting against staying at Sheffield United.
With West Brom looking to secure an immediate return to the Premier League next year, it will be intriguing to see whether Bryan is able to play a key role in helping his side achieve this goal.
Making reference to Bryan, Phillips has admitted that he believes that the defender has arrived at the club at the right time as he will be handed the opportunity to impress by manager Valerien Ismael.
Speaking to West Brom News about Bryan, Phillips said: “He certainly has [arrived at the right time] and he’s going to get an opportunity.
“When someone gets injured, I don’t like saying it but when one door closes, another one opens.
“It’s the opportunity now for someone else to step up, fill O’Shea’s boots and stamp their place in that side.
“This will be an opportunist’s moment and it’s good timing for Kean Bryan to come in.
“They fought off a few Premier League clubs [to sign him] and he must have thought, ‘I’m going to have more chances to play now Dara’s injured, I might get a consistent run in the team’.
“But if you went to a Premier League club, you might not get the game-time.
“It could turn out to be ok for West Brom, let’s just hope the kid hits the ground running.”
Whilst losing O’Shea for a considerable amount of time is a huge blow for West Brom, there is no reason why Bryan cannot go on to achieve a great deal of success in the defender’s absence.
Whereas the former Blades man was only able to record an average WhoScored match rating of 6.55 in the Premier League last season, he could potentially thrive in a lower division.
If Bryan is able to showcase his talent in training to Ismael, he may move above the likes of Cedric Kipre and Semi Ajayi in the pecking order at West Brom.
Providing that the defender does indeed make a positive start to life with his new side, he could become an instant hit with the club’s supporters who will be desperate to see their side push on in the Championship later this year.