"I feel I can play in the Premier League" - Kean Bryan opens up on difficult times at Sheffield United
"I’ve seen Kean Bryan in OK magazine more than I’ve seen him in a Blades shirt," Green wrote last weekend, after Bryan came in from the cold to take his place at left centre-half as the Blades faced West Brom.
By virtue of his relationship with actress Brooke Vincent, who played Sophie Webster in Coronation Street, Bryan is no stranger to the front pages of newspapers and magazines.
But that hasn't dampened the 24-year-old's determination to establish himself in the Premier League - a level he feels he belongs.
"If I didn't believe that then there'd be no point standing here and doing this interview," he insisted after making his second top-flight appearance for the Blades in Sunday's 2-1 defeat to Leicester City.
"On a personal level, it's been a tough time for me at Sheffield United.
"I've not been in the frame of being games but that's because I've been behind Jack O'Connell. He's an unbelievable player and when you're keeping clean sheets like he was when he was in the team, I can't really expect to play.
"I've just had to get my head down, work as hard as I can in training.
"That's what I did in the off season, I worked hard and thankfully now I'm getting the chance to play games.
"It's the manager's decision to play me or not but all I can do is work hard in training and give my all, which I have been doing.
"We know we're in a difficult situation and there's no shying away from it. We have to regroup but there's still a lot of games left and a lot of points to play for."
Bryan's long-awaited chance in the United first-team has come about thanks to a combination of unfortunate factors. Jack O'Connell's injury left a void that United have struggled to fill, utilising Jack Robinson, Enda Stevens and Ethan Ampadu there in recent weeks, to varying degrees of success.
Then, with Stevens and Ampadu injured and Robinson out of favour, the call came for Bryan to come in from the cold against West Brom.
It was his first competitive appearance in a United jersey since January's FA Cup win over non-league A.F.C. Fylde, although he did play six times on loan for Bolton Wanderers in League One last season before their season was curtailed due to Covid-19.
There was a hint that Bryan remained firmly in Chris Wilder's plans when he featured in pre-season, catching the eye with some dangerous crosses down the left wing.
He is no O'Connell - not many are, which has complicated United's search for a replacement - but he seems more comfortable going forward than Robinson, has the advantage of being left-footed over Ampadu and his presence would allow Stevens to revert to his favoured position of wing back.
The big call for boss Wilder will come, probably as early as this weekend's trip to Southampton, when Stevens returns to full fitness. Will Stevens slot back in at left centre-half, with Max Lowe or Ben Osborn on the wing, or be returned out wide?
Bryan has certainly let no-one down - his sublime cross for Oli Burke at West Brom showed what he is capable of going forward, and Jamie Vardy struggled to get any joy out of the former Manchester City youngster despite obviously targeting him from the first whistle against Leicester - and although United aren't expected to alter their plans to look for an O'Connell replacement in January, the temptation must be there to at least give him the shirt until January.
“Sheffield United are certainly not asking Kean to push water up a hill by playing him on the left of a back three,” David Flitcroft, who worked with Bryan at Bury and Bolton, told The Athletic recently.
“He takes up those positions naturally, trying to build up an attack or get an end product into the area.
"You must have attacking centre halves who can come into midfield to make [3-5-2] work. Kean can do that. It is natural for him.”
Bryan, who became a father last year when Vincent gave birth to their son, Mexx, doesn't hide away from the difficult times his bit-part role brought.
"It was a tough time, I won't shy away from that," he admitted.
"When I signed here I expected to play in the Championship, so it was gutting for me. I had to go out on loan to play games and no disrespect to Bolton Wanderers, but it's not the level I see myself playing.
"I see myself playing at the highest level possible, thankfully I'm doing that now and hopefully things can start to turn in terms of us getting points on the board.
"It's the biggest challenge for all of the players in there, but I don't think there's a better person [than Wilder] to take us forward and believe we can get through this tough time.
"He's very positive about how we've been playing... it's been tight games and a lot of 1-0s.
"At West Brom we could have been 2-0 up in 10 minutes. We're not getting blown off the park when we go out there, and hopefully things can start to turn for us."