Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Bartley promotion proof that loan system does have its benefits

Just two days into pre-season training Kyle Bartley received the news that he had been waiting five years for as the centre-back was told that he will be part of Arsenal’s first-team squad for the upcoming campaign.

Bartley has progressed considerably since joining from Bolton Wanderers in 2007. Now 21, he has experienced four separate loan spells in the ensuing period- two apiece at Sheffield United and Rangers, all the while making just a solitary senior outing for Arsenal against Olympiacos in a Champions League dead rubber three years ago.

It has not exactly been plain sailing for the Mancunian, especially last season as his form fluctuated after he was asked to fill in at right-back on several occasions. He has displayed enough promise to make an impression upon Arsene Wenger, however, and will now be hoping to develop further by training regularly with the first-team squad.

In terms of game time, with three comparatively experienced centre-backs ahead of him, not to mention Johan Djourou, who, at present, looks as if he will be sticking around for a little while yet, Bartley’s best bet of first-team opportunities, initially at least, would appear to be in the League Cup, a competition that, owing to his exploits out on loan, he has yet to feature in for the Gunners.

Injuries may provide him with further opportunities to shine as the campaign progresses, but it is clear that Bartley still has some developing to do if he is to succeed at the club in the long-term. His own-goal against New York Red Bulls in the Emirates Cup last summer has not yet faded from the memory, but he will be hoping to develop more consistency in his game as he looks to prove his worth.

When on song, he is impressive with his biting tackles, whilst his ability to operate as a defensive midfielder, a role he performed  for Rangers in the Europa League two seasons ago, is a further string to his bow. Bartley has now racked up 68 senior appearances when all of his loan spells are taken into account, which is in stark contrast to fellow centre-back Ignasi Miquel, who, whilst having featured for Arsenal in the Premier League, is yet to experience a spell elsewhere.

Bartley’s promotion is further evidence that, on occasion, the loan system can work to Arsenal’s benefit. Indeed, there are many that depart the club on temporary transfer and are never to be seen again, but several members of the first-team squad have benefitted from stints with other clubs, not least Wojciech Szczesny, Jack Wilshere and Alex Song, who, when fit, are among the first names on Wenger’s teamsheet.

Bartley still has some way to go if he is to reach that level of prestige, but he is at least heading in the right direction. His maiden season as a first-team player at the club will go some way towards indicating whether he is of the calibre to succeed in the long term.

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Not convinced with the bits and pieces I’ve seen. SPL not exactly the same level as the Premier League.

Happy to be proved wrong though.

Ze Gooner

not convinced by a 21 year old? tell us how convinced you were by alex song and van persie when they 21 year olds


I’ll let you know when you find the caps key.

Dr Baptiste

Wouldn’t you find the shift key and not the caps lock; unless, of course, you use a keyboard in an odd fashion and tap the caps lock every time you wanted a capital letter…


caps lock is easier than shift


To each his own..


thats easy to say ze gooner, but its probably even easier to point out all the players that, after several years past 21, continued to fail afterwards

point: you can only judge on what you see now


Completely agree. Am a fan of Miquel and think he has a brighter future for us, but of course would love Bartley to prove me wrong and become a legend in the red and white!


Agree with this – I think that Miquel is going to be the real talent, but we’ll hopefully get to see a bit of Bartley this year and would be very nice if he does step up well.


And when becomes the real deal, I’m sure he will fuck right off to barca. Bartley all the way for me.


Too early to say, but as of now, I’m not sure if he’ll even fit in Celtic or Rangers first team.


Hate it when people pass judgements without even bothering to watch SPL regularly


I lived in Scotland for three years and tried…really, honestly tried to watch the SPL every week. It was a genuinely horrible experience. Apart from the odd Old Firm game, it watched very much like the English League One or even Two. I mean, seriously, apart from locals invested in their club, why would you put yourself through the misery of Dumfermline v. Inverness on a rainy Saturday afternoon? However, the SPL can on occasion produce / nurture some exceptionally talented players who have no trouble “making the step up” to much better leagues. Our very own Arteta is proof… Read more »


Will he be satisfied as fifth choice? I hope he gets some game time. But I doubt he will.


At 21, someone on Bartley’s calibre should be more than content to be 5th choice for Arsenal. It’s that or going to somewhere like Swansea to be 3rd choice realistically.


It will make room for him when the rotation is needed.


With are injury record I think he will get some time, but congratulations to the lad hope he does well. He’s living our dreams part of the first team at The Arsenal. Make the best of it as long as it lasts.


Not are but our sorry


Too shaky to be a solid centre back so it’s better he be shaped into the DM role. From his time with rangers you can clearly affirm this.


He’s better than Miquel. Faster and better in the air. Need to get rid of squillaci and Bendtner ASAP tho.


Better than miquel? Um red flag!. I bed to differ. Miguel is actually technically superior to kyle, he knows when to hold his ground and when to move forward. Got great attacking skills something arsenal CB’s mysteriously posses. Yes, he is obviously slower than kyle but then again centrebacks aren’t usually the fastest guys on the track.

I choose ignasi miguel!!!!.




Bendtner isn’t a centre back.


TGDTEL????, yes he is definetly not a defender.

Lord Teddy Ears

No he is the best striker ever !!!


But if he was he would be the greatest center back that ever lived


Better than The Mighty Miguel? You must be sniffing some kotveny.

New guy

My Glaswegian friend who supports Rangers (poor bloke… let’s keep those supporters in mind every time we talk about silent Stan and sustainability – I really find it difficult to believe that anybody would want something different and presumably unsustainable for our club) was raving about Bartley in his first Rangers loan spell.

Merlin's Panini

Good luck to him. He seems to really want to play for Arsenal and that’s a great start. At 21 he has a long way to go as a centre back so it would be pretty silly for him to expect anything other than being fifth choice at the moment, but I’d much rather have him when injuries occur than relying on the haunted Squillaci.
He will undoubtedly make some mistakes as a young player but at least he has time on his side to learn, and learn from some excellent players too.


I don’t agree with that statement. His promotion to the first team could more easily be put on the fact that Squillaci is un-sellable. Without moving Squillaci on, the club can’t bring in another centreback so they may as well give Bartley a try. He can play the 5 games or less that Squillaci would play. Another argument could be made that Bould and Banfields influence is being felt, with them recommending that the likes of Bartley and Ebecillio be given chances to train and play with the first team. We shouldn’t forget that in the midst of a centre… Read more »


All players on pro contract always do per season work together for the 1st week until 1st team & reserves/u18s start their pre season matches respectively. He loaned Bartley out because he felt more 1st team games was necessary for Bartley before regular challenge for 1st team places. Now Miquel will have to go on loan to get sufficient games too.


Squillaci being unsell-able or Banfield and Bould getting extra influence over academy picks does not disprove the conclusion that the loan system has benefited Arsenal FC, and as those were the only arguments that came up I assume those were the main reasons you didn’t believe the loan system was beneficial to Arsenal. Your alternative theory on Banfield and Bould is only speculative, and both of them have absolutely no bearing on the ‘theory’ that the loan system has helped Kyle Bartley to mature, which thus makes it easier for Wenger to select, observe (in high-profile situations such as Old… Read more »

Pedantic Dave

If Bartley replaces Squillaci in the squad, he takes up a space as a home grown player, thus freeing up a place in the overseas player list


Technically, you’re wrong. He doesn’t take Squillaci’s place in the 25 man squad. Bartley doesn’t have to be registered as players born after 01/01/1991 do NOT have to be registered for the 2012/13 season. Kyle was born on 22/05/1991, so he won’t even be taking up a home grown place.

We’ll still be left having to pay Squillaci to not play football for a minimum of 5 months though.


What he said still applies the following season after he officially takes Squillaci’s natural position of 5th choice center-back when he leaves and Bartley becomes 22.


I’m pleased that Bartley given the chance to prove his worth. He’s British, I always think British players got more advantage playing in Premier League. So, I’m looking forward for his display in the new season!

Alan Alexander

From what i have seen of him in the SPL he doesnt seem up to standard even there, too prone to giving away needless fouls etc, very prone to coming on and just kicking players upside down. Not what we need in my opinion.

Jaroslav Frechik

Not what we need? Can two people eat on $73 a week? Yes, he is exactly what we need.


Under Bould, he will get the guidance.

Naija Gunner

I always love it whenever any of the young guns are promoted to the senior team.

But I hope this Bartley guy delivers, from what I read above, it seems he doesn’t have what it takes to be amongst the “big boys” and their is a lot of competition for him, fierce competition that is.

Fingers crossed hope he come out good for us.

Conor J. Clarke™

The most important thing is that he is English! I read somewhere the other day that no team has won the EPL without an English center back! With Vermaelen injured now and again, the unreliability of Squillaci and Djourou, he most certainly will get a chance!


Um….cum hoc, ergo propter hoc?


Take that particular fallacy away and all we have left is reasoned argument, which I as a football fan have no time for whatsoever.


What’s that about cum?


looking forward to seeing him play. Not seen much of him tho it does seem as if the Rangers fans really love him. He seems like a down to earth, hard working chap and hopefully he can have a role to play this season.

Also interesting to note that Henri Lansbury is now listed as a first-team player on the official website. Wonder if he will finally get a role in the squad this year.


And now we hear that Miquel is being courted by Barcelona with a £300,000 offer. OK, it’s the Daily Mail telling us. But if Miquel’s loan deal to Brighton hasn’t yet been finalized … well … What would be pretty galling would be seeing Miquel return to Spain and us being left with Bartley. Who I simply do not rate. Sure, the 2012/13 season will be his ‘big chance’ to make it at Arsenal and show us what he can do. And some of that will be with the pre-season stuff. But if he couldn’t impress playing for a Rangers… Read more »

glory hunter

Happy for the lad, and i think he’ll surprise many.
May not be the best technically but he more than makes for it with his other attributes.
I remember thinking how rubbish a young John Terry & Jamie Carragher were but they both went on to captain their respective teams and as much as it hurts to say have both had very good careers.

Compare that to Senderos who we all thought was magnificent and we all know how that turned out!!!


Why is Miguel being sent to a Championship side? I’m sure there is a Premiership side out there that can give him adequate playing time and useful EPL experience?

Master Bates

so he can play a LOT!! we know he is very technically gifted , he just needs to beef up and be kicked a bit , he needs a little bit of shawcrossness in him

you can thumb me down now


No, I agree. The times I’ve seen him play, he’s been technically perfect. But he looks tiny.


For a 6 foot 4 bloke, he certainly doesn’t seem to have that physical presence. If he can beef up, we will have a tough, technical defender on our hands, which can only be a good thing 🙂


cant understand the basis of the support for Miguel- hes physically very soft lightweight and very slow. Only played 6 games so far and will get burned by any half paced striker. Bartley is a battle hardened leader, stronger quicker with decent technique after 69 first team games. Its a no brainer. Let Miguel go on loan for 2 years and see how he develops v Jason Roberts type strrikers……..
Bartley deserves his promotion but will need regular games to improve.


give the big fella a chance lads….. i watched him at Ibrox and when he is played in the centre he is great….. good old fashioned crunching tackles and he wont back down from anybody……solid in the air and he has a lot of faith in his ability…..was a little bit suspect when played at right back ( but thats not his normal position )….. i like the big man when he played for us and would welcome him back to Rangers with open arms


I can see.hartley getting games at right back as well. perhaps not when there is a nippy left winger but he has played there a lot at rangers. in fact he has played at rb and dm.more than he has played at cb. this is why i think a lot of the criticism is very harsh. have to say that when they are 24/25 miquel and bartley could.make an awesome pairing if they can stick around that long. proper bouldy adams keown material. if boateng or angha can continue their rise to form of last year we could have 4… Read more »

Malaysian Gooner

I’m happy for Bartley but hope it’s just a coincidence that this story comes out around the same time rumours of Miquel’s loan to Brighton surface. I think those of us who have watched both players would agree that Miquel is by far the more gifted player (not that Bartley isn’t good, just that Miquel’s better). I hope Miquel’s loan is just so that he can gain some regular first team football and unrelated to Bartley’s promotion. I sincerely hope both players make it at the club but I’m getting increasingly worried that talented foreigners are being left out as… Read more »


Miquel is slightly better technically but Bartley is much quicker, both players still developing positional awareness. Don’t see Miquel surviving @ CB with our defensive line when pressing the ball, he is very much on the slow side.

big black clock

What are we arguing over again? Trust Le Prof guys, he knows how to develop a player.


The guy has been played alot in DM and RB last season and he was returning from injury as well. He has all the basic ingredients to be a good CB.

For Miquel – It’s good for him if he is loan out to the Championship. Will improve his physical side of the game. A bit to frail to my liking so it’s a good opportunity of him to learn to handle the physicality in the lower league.


Song looked shit then average for along time so I hope Kyle gets the same sort of crack at the first team. If Denilson gets several season to prove himself a few off the young guns do as well


Own goals are often just really bad luck, but remember it was Bartley’s OG that gave the Emirates Cup to the New York Red Bulls last summer. Which, as an Arsenal fan in New York, leaves me with confused feelings about the guy.


Good for this lad. Fanatics aside, I feel with the Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Koscielny and Djourou as a solid 4th choice, I think Bartley makes a good fifth competitor and there is no need for another cb. I still would like to see a guy who could play on the right or left, because we learned that four is company on the injury table last year with our outside backs.


I like him. He seems to have guts, not to mention a fair dash of spite.

He’ll get plenty of chances, the way every cunt gets injured in this fucking team.

Dick Swiveller

He’s the kind of player we need, a big guy with a bit of bite and steel in him, it’s all very well holding our moral high ground when Stoke kick us off the park but if we get a few of our own brick shithouses we can give as good as we get; until they get sent off in the 20th minute for doing exactly the same thing we get done to us week after week, still it’s the principal of the thing,

Also, if anyone can mould a new generation of no-nonsense gooner-bred super(English)men it’s Bouldy.

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