Leeds United are reportedly pursuing a swoop for Swansea centre-back Kyle Bartley. The Englishman has become the Peacocks’ top summer target as they look to strengthen their ranks and confront the playoffs next season. The Swans would agree only if they secure survival, something that still looks an uphill task. Bartley’s services are sure to be required if they get relegated.
The 26-year-old spent a season on loan at Elland Road last season, where he fully lived up to his credentials and helped his side to a top six finish. He has struggled to break into the playing XI this campaign, having seen just 234 minutes of first-team football, which could enforce a move away from Wales.
More on the player –
Kyle Bartley started his career with the Arsenal youth setup. In 2009, he was included in the senior side but couldn’t get a chance. Loan spells at Sheffield United and Rangers followed since. In 2012, he was signed by Swansea City.
The season after, he was loaned out to Birmingham City till January. He entered the limelight last season when he donned the Leeds shirt. He featured in 45 league matches for them, contributing with six goals. In the course of six long seasons with the Swans, the defender has only managed 35 appearances.
Overall, he has made 170 senior appearances in his career so far. Bartley has also represented England in the U-16 and U-17 levels.
Kyle Bartley is a titanic figure at the back. He simply offers physicality, alertness and ample aerial strength. He tackles well, is a fine man marker and a dependable man to have in set-piece situations. As far as consistency is concerning, he already illustrated it with his stagings last season.
Worth a return?
Surely. He has already established himself as a reliable centre-half in the Championship and is in line to repeat the same. After all, 11 out of his 12 senior goals have been scored for Championship sides. More importantly, the key to Leeds United’s success was the prolific partnership of Pontus Jansson and Kyle Bartley.
If this duo can set the tone right from the start of next season, the Whites would surely turn into a force to be reckoned with. On a personal note, he needs a fresh start after being beset with injuries of late and a lacklustre career with Swansea. He is currently struggling with a knee injury, the second setback sustained in eight months.