Barring the glaring error against Chelsea in midweek, Kean Bryan has delivered an assured and impressive couple of performances of late.
Stepping in for the likes of Jack O’Connell, Enda Stevens, and more recently, Ethan Ampadu, was never going to be the easiest of tasks for Bryan.
The former Manchester City man has become almost synonymous among some United supporters for being a player that plays when we are scraping the barrel or playing lower league opposition. And up until recently, that was probably a fair comment and assessment of Bryan’s time with the Blades.
But like all good players and professionals, Bryan seems to have set about trying to prove those fans and critics wrong. And a fine job of doing it he has done, so far.
A goal at Old Trafford the stuff of dreams for Bryan, he was also quietly impressive against Chelsea and had he not made that error, it would have been another 7/10 performance from the left-footer.
Kean Bryan wants a new contract but Sheffield United will bide their time
Bryan was up for media duty today ahead of the FA Cup tie with Bristol City tomorrow. He was calm, assured in his answers, and clear in his mission to stay beyond his current contract, which expires in the summer.
Of course, Chris Wilder batted away any talk of a new deal for Bryan when he followed him into the media suite. The Blades boss insisting the defender is involved now, and has a chance to impress between now and the summer.
But is Bryan worth the new deal? And is he a player that is going to stay injury free and manage to contribute to the cause? It’s a tough question that at the moment, is hard to answer.
Should United go down, as expected, then Bryan might represent a cheap enough option to cover multiple positions. He knows the club well,, knows the system, and clearly is a ‘talented boy’, as Wilder called him.
But should we stay up, Bryan might have a different problem. O’Connell will be back, Max Lowe will have a season under his belt, and Rhys Norrington-Davies will be back too after impressing in the Championship.
Game time, or lack of, could be crucial for Bryan
Of course Bryan would want to stay. But if he’s not going to play again, he might want to swallow his pride and go and prove himself elsewhere.
For now, though, Kean Bryan is doing well. It might be a surprise to many onlookers, but he actually looks an accomplished player at times and might well have even surprised a few inside Bramall Lane.
Or perhaps we were all a bit unfair. This is a player who has clearly suffered a few injuries and was simply sat behind O’Connell and Stevens, biding his time with patience and professionalism.
That professionalism might just stand Bryan in good stead. United want players who are committed and fully buy in to Wilder’s plan. And in the here and now, Kean Bryan is certainly proving he is doing just that.