Bartley keen to make impression at Arsenal

Arsenal defender Kyle Bartley believes he is ready to make an impression on the Gunners' first team, following a profitable loan spell with Rangers last season.

The 20-year-old joined the Glasgow giants in January, making nine league appearances to help Walter Smith's side claim a 54th league championship crown.

Bartley - who was also loaned out to Sheffield United the previous year - saw his time at Ibrox cut short after sustaining a season-ending injury against PSV Eindhoven in the Europa League.

However, the defender is now close to regaining full fitness and, although Rangers have expressed an interest in taking Bartley back on loan, he is confident that he would shine for Arsene Wenger's outfit, given the opportunity.

“If I’m honest, I don’t think I was anywhere near the level to play for Arsenal last season. But I’ve come back, I feel really strong and I feel that I am ready now," he told the club's official website.

“I learned the demands of being at a top football club who are trying to win things and how important it is to be a champion and a winner. Every time you step on the pitch, you are going out there to win so there is a lot of pressure on you.

“I think I can offer something else. I am a little bit different to the other centre-backs. I like the physical side of the game and I see myself as a leader. If Arsene decides that he wants me in the first team then that will be fantastic.”

Bartley's injury meant that he missed out on travelling with the squad on the Gunners' tour of Asia. However, he is hopeful of being involved with the party that heads to Germany later this week.

“I spoke to the boss on the Friday before they left [for Asia] and he told me that they had four centre-backs and obviously I wasn’t fully over my injury yet. It’s just one of those things.

“It was always the aim to get back for the start of pre-season because it’s an important time of the year. I will be back with them on Tuesday when they are back in training with a view to going to Germany with them.

“He has said he doesn’t want me going on loan yet and he hasn’t made his mind up. My hopes are the same as every year, to be an Arsenal first-team player. Hopefully, this year, that will happen.”