Picture copyright of Jeorge Bird’s Arsenal Reserves and Youth blog
Defender Kyle joined Arsenal last summer after rejecting an offer of a scholarship from his previous club Bolton Wanderers. He is strong in the tackle and is a composed, towering presence, offering support to those around him and taking control of the game. He is unfazed by the big occasion and was thrown into the limelight for the Reserves game against Fulham in January and performed admirably, despite a 2-0 defeat. Many clubs were said to be keen on signing Kyle before he came to Arsenal including Man.Utd and Man.City, but now he is enjoying life at Arsenal.
He has spent some time on the sidelines recently due to recurring injuries, but he returned to play for England u-17s in the Algarve tournament alongside fellow first-year scholar Sanchez Watt. Kyle impressed and helped England win the tournament.
One criticism of Kyle is that he doesn’t use his physical presence enough at set-pieces, especially corners. However, other teams are aware of the threat that he poses and act to close him down quickly. Kyle has added a new dimension to the u-18s play this season, forging a good partnership with Thomas Cruise who he has played alongside at Youth level.
Kyle has always dreamed of becoming a Premiership footballer and says that his greatest ambition is to play at the World Cup. If he continues his steady progress, then he has a great chance of making his dreams come true.
Name: Kyle Bartley
Age: 16 (D.O.B. 22/05/91)
Position: Centre back
Previous clubs: Bolton Wanderers
International accolades: England u-16, u-17 international.
Total: 8 (1)