Kyle Bartley says he is determined to break into Arsene Wenger’s first team squad next season when he returns to the club following a second spell on loan with Rangers in Scotland.
Overcoming injury to make 19 appearances for the SPL side, Bartley stressed that he is returning to London a much stronger player despite the threat of Rangers going into liquidation leaving his loan spell in jeopardy for much of the last two months
Speaking to the Evening Times, the 20-year-old paid homage to the efforts of Ally McCoist and the Glasgow side’s coaching staff during a turbulent period.
“It has been a really difficult time for everyone and I think the manager has done a remarkable job to make sure that everyone stayed upbeat and kept their minds on the job.
“Ally is a remarkable character. He’s always up and always keeping everyone on their toes and you can’t really begin to imagine the pressure that he has been under since the club went into administration.
“He has taught me so much and given me the chance to play. If he gets the chance next season to think only of the football then I think we’ll all see the best of him.
“There are not many young players who will go through what we have all been through as players this season at the club and I think I’ll be able to deal with anything in my career now.”
Eyeing participation in Arsenal’s pre-season tour of Nigeria and the Far-East, confirmed that he had not given up hope of featuring at the Emirates despite being a long way down the pecking order.
“I have loved my time here at Rangers. The fans have been brilliant with me and the club itself is massive.
“I want to go back and join pre-season now with Arsenal in July and fight for my place, but Rangers has definitely made me a far better player than the one who arrived here.
“I have learned so much from being able to play regular first-team football.
“I’ve made a lot of friends from my time at the club. I don’t know what will come next for a lot of them but I can only say that I have loved my time at Rangers.”
While Seb Squillaci’s departure seems inevitable, the chances of Bartley forcing his way into Arsene Wenger’s plans still seem slight. Indeed with Johan Djourou signing a new deal recently and the likes of Thomas Vermaelen, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny all tied down to long term contracts and looking settled, it appears the best the England youth international can hope for is Carling Cup minutes alongside Ignasi Miquel. Perhaps another loan spell, this time in the Premier League, could be a more suitable option.