Should This Youngster Be Given A Chance At Arsenal This Season?


Kyle Bartley has come off from a very decent loan spell at both Sheffield United and Rangers last season. Such was his contribution valued at Rangers that Ibrox boss Ally McCoist is keen to bring the Manchester-born defender back to the club on the back of his exploits.

Despite amassing only 23 and 9 appearances at Sheffield United and Rangers respectively, the general consensus amongst fans that watched him – such as @Arsenal_Away on Twitter – is that he was most impressive and learned a great deal from the likes of club captain David Weir.

While he may not solve Arsenal’s much publicised ‘defensive frailties’, he offers something different to the table that is perhaps not characteristic of an Arsenal player. Tall – he stands at an impressive 6 ft 3 in or 1.91m – and rather physical as typified by the fact that he’s strong in the tackle, he could offer a new dimension and at least some competition in the club’s backline. He’s also a powerful defender and claims to be a ‘leader’ – a claim and quality many critics suggest that Arsenal lack. Surely he can’t be much worse than the languid Sebastian Squillaci; at least as a squad option?

What’s more is that he could be a new addition to Arsenal’s growing British spine that includes Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs and Theo Walcott and hopefully blend in well with the team in seasons to come – something Arsenal have been critiscised for lacking during Arsène Wenger’s tenure at the club.

Arsène Wenger is keen to hold on to the young English defender despite leaving him out of the club’s Asia and Germany tours perhaps keeping him as an option in case the club don’t sign the “tall, experienced” defender to sort out their defensive woes – especially from set pieces – or to work on his fitness after sustaining a knee injury from the 2010-11 season. While Kyle may not bring much experience to the table, I believe that he should at least be given a few minutes in the remaining pre-season matches to impress Wenger. He could be a welcome surprise.

The Sunday Mail suggested that Kyle Bartley may be headed to Bolton instead of Rangers for a season-long loan, perhaps as a makeweight to fund a deal for Gary Cahill, a player the club have been linked to all summer. People also claim that Burnley have also enquired about his services.

In all likelihood, he’ll head out on loan to gain more experience, but one can’t help but feel that he, and perhaps even Ignasi Miquel, could play a bigger role in Arsenal’s defense in seasons to come.

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  • Judith Le'Strange says:

    All the youngsters should be given a chance that’s what they’re aspiring to, that way Wenger can judge them in a senior setting.

  • EIE says:

    Wenger Out!

  • spanner says:

    if he is the kind of guy who likes a chew on his opponent’s hand during the game then he’s ok by me.

  • mick f says:

    i am a Celtic supporter & i was very impressed by Kyle last season. i know most people in England think the game isn’t up to much up here (& maybe your right) but he showed great character during the old firm games when other Rangers players were losing the plot. he’s big, strong a good tackler & even though a defender he was driving ‘them’ forward when the others had given up. i think he deserves a chance or atleast don’t give him another loan spell at Ibrox (the Celts will win the league at a canter but we don’t want to take any chaces) & remember he played so few games because of injury.

  • islandbear says:

    I’m a Rangers fan and this boy, despite his age was extremely impressive, coming into a game like an old firm, which was undoubtedbly the biggest game of his life he held his own extremely well, in a game that is known as a powderkeg. I for one would love him back at Rangers, as would all the fans I’ve spoken to. If Wenger doesn’t give him his big break this season then he needs his head looking at.

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