Dunfermline manager Peter Grant has described the start made by ‘top talent’ Rhys Breen at East End Park following his summer move from Rangers as a ‘nightmare’.
Breen was recalled from a loan spell at partner club Orange County SC in July in order to be sold to the Pars for an undisclosed fee.
The 21-year-old defender landed a two-year deal and it looked to be an excellent move for him.
After all, he’d already built up experience in the second tier on loan at Queen of the South the previous season and would now, in theory, be part of a team pushing for promotion.
However, things haven’t gone according to plan so far.
Dunfermline are rooted to the bottom of the Championship on just two points after five matches and the former Ger is yet to make his debut due to a number of issues, as Grant has explained.
“Rhys has had a bit of a nightmare,” he told reporters. “He had ten days in isolation when he came back from America. Then, after the Rangers game (for which he was an unused sub), he felt a tweak on his hamstring while doing the post-match work. That just got progressively worse so he was out with that.
“As sure as fate, he then caught Covid and, just when he was ready to come back, one of his family members caught it – so he was out again. It was nearly a month of back-to-back isolation for him!
Things are beginning to look up again for the powerful young centre-back, but according to Grant, it will still be some time before he’s finally ready to make his debut.
“Rhys is on his way back now and working hard,” continued Grant. “It has been unfortunate for him because he is a top talent – quick and strong and with experience of playing in this division last year. Hopefully, we can get him back within the training group within the next couple of weeks.”
Breen isn’t the only young defender to be struggling for game time after leaving Ibrox in the summer, though.
That’s as Daniel Finlayson has only made two appearances for St Mirren since the start of the season, with one coming in the Premier Sports Cup and the other in the SPFL Trust Trophy.
Rangers are in Premiership action against Dundee on Saturday afternoon and here’s our Predicted XI for the game.