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…
Blackburn Rovers have joined the race to sign former Sheffield United centre-back Kean Bryan this summer, as reported by The Sun’s Alan Nixon.
The 24-year-old has been out of contract since the beginning of last month after refusing to sign a new deal at Bramall Lane. This was despite the central defender making his breakthrough for the South Yorkshire side last season and making 12 Premier League appearances.
With Phil Jagielka departing the club on the expiration of his contract and Jack O’Connell remaining sidelined with his long-term knee injury, Bryan was likely to be a regular player again under new manager Slavisa Jokanovic.
Blackburn Rovers fan? Bored? Try get 100% on this 22 question quiz all about Rovers transfer deals from over the years
But after continuing to stall on a new deal, the contract offer made to him at the start of the summer was withdrawn and the Blades have now gone ahead and recruited Liverpool centre-half Ben Davies on a loan deal.
After previously being the subject of interest from Watford, Fulham, Swansea City, West Bromwich Albion and Middlesbrough, interest in his services seemed to have cooled down but with Blackburn Rovers now entering the race, Bryan may have found his next destination.
With this potential move in the pipeline, we asked three of our writers whether he would be a good signing for the Lancashire side – and whether he’d be a much-needed addition at Ewood Park.
This is what they’ve had to say.
I think this could be some top business for Rovers, to be honest.
They obviously need to add a little more before the window is shut after a slow start to proceedings this summer, but I like the players they are targeting and we could see them end the window with a flourish.
I think Bryan is a really good player, certainly one that would shine at this level this season, and Rovers would be getting him for far cheaper than they might have in different circumstances.
It would be a really shrewd move for Rovers to bring him in, especially with the Premier League experience he garnered at times last season, and I think supporters would be happy with it if it happened.
There are a fair few things that Blackburn Rovers need to do this summer, and recruiting a centre-back who will push to consistently start in the Championship is certainly one of those priority areas that needs addressing.
Their central defensive options run thin at present, with a lack of senior options in this position, with Daniel Ayala and Darragh Lenihan, being handed the difficult task of just staying fit.
Tony Mowbray also opted to deploy a three-at-the-back formation against Morecambe in the Carabao Cup last week – a system that is looking increasingly favourable by Championship managers, but difficult for the Rovers boss to implement when he has a lack of senior options to choose from.
Not only is Bryan a competent Championship option, but he also has the flexibility to play at full-back and as a holding midfielder, should Mowbray need to use him there.
This would surely be an excellent signing for Blackburn if they managed to pull it off.
With Barry Douglas, Amari’i Bell, Taylor Harwood Bellis and Jarrad Branthwaite all leaving the club following the expiry of their loan and contracts at the end of last season, Rovers are now rather short of numbers in both the centre back and left-back positions of their squad.
As a result, the addition of a versatile defender such as Bryan would provide some welcome cover for Tony Mowbray’s backline, and having been one of the brighter sparks for Sheffield United in the Premier League last season, he would be a more than reliable option to fill that role.
Indeed, after what has been a frustratingly quiet transfer window so far for Rovers, pulling off what would – given the other clubs that have been linked with been liked with Bryan – have to be seen as a coup for the club in signing the defender, would surely provide a welcome lift around Ewood Park.
Taking all that into consideration, it does seem as though this could be one well worth Rovers trying to get done quickly, before someone else beats them to it.