By Danny Wright

21st Sep, 2021 | 2:36pm

West Brom fan mailbag: Why did we sign unfit Kean Bryan?

Every week we’ll be asking West Brom fans on our Facebook account for questions that will be answered by editor Danny Wright. You can join in by following the West Brom News Facebook account and watching out for weekly mailbag posts.

West Brom fans are yet to see Kean Bryan in action since the defender signed on a free transfer on September 7.

Bryan, 24, penned a two-year deal at The Hawthorns in the aftermath of Dara O’Shea suffering a serious ankle injury while on international duty with the Republic of Ireland.

He’s not made his Albion debut so far due to his fitness and one Baggies fan wants to know why Valerien Ismael signed an unfit player to replace an injured player.

West Brom News editor Danny Wright has answered.

Bryan had been a free agent since the end of last season when he was released by Sheffield United so he didn’t have a proper pre-season and he didn’t play in any matches that would have improved his match fitness.

And signing Bryan wasn’t just about him stepping in for September, it was about him providing an extra layer of depth to Ismael’s defensive options for the duration of the campaign.

O’Shea is unfortunately facing up to six months on the sidelines with a serious ankle injury so we don’t just need Bryan for now, we need him for most of the season.

Based on what we’ve seen so far this term, Semi Ajayi and Cedric Kipre are struggling to match the stands of Matt Clarke and O’Shea so hopefully Bryan can provide them with some extra competition to boost their form.

Bryan was never going to be a game-changing signing, he’s simply filler for a squad that was devoid of any real strength in depth before the transfer window closed.

Still, we may get to see Bryan play against QPR on Friday night, based on what Birmingham Mail journalist Joe Chapman has reported after the ex-Sheffield United defender played for our Under-23s last wek.

Ismael said he was happy with his squad at the start of August but clearly it only took injuries to O’Shea and Clarke for him not to be.

And if he’s still happy with the strength of the side in the midfield and in the striker area, he needs to have another look at our form over the last few Championship matches.

In other West Brom news, Kevin Phillips has reacted after some Albion fans slammed this player on Twitter.

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