Arsenal Finally Sign a Tall Centre-Back

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Arsenal have agreed a new contract with defender Kyle Bartley, securing his long-term future at the club.

The 20-year-old spent last season on-loan at Sheffield United and then a hugely successful period with Rangers, before sustaining a knee ligament injury.

He has made just one competitive appearance for Arsenal, in the Champions League defeat to Olympiakos in 2009, but has impressed manager Arsene Wenger.

Bartley has captained Arsenal’s reserves and was an FA Youth Cup winner with the club in 2009.

Loan spells have no doubt enhanced the youngster’s experience, having taken part in a relegation battle with the Blades and two Old Firm derbies last year.

The Gunners boss is on the lookout for a new centre-back but deals for Gary Cahill, Christopher Samba and Phil Jageilka are yet to materialise.

This could lead to Bartley getting a run in the first-team, because at six foot three inches, he is exactly what Arsenal need at the back.

“If I’m honest, I don’t think I was anywhere near the level to play for Arsenal last season,” he told the club’s website.

“But I’ve come back, I feel really strong and I feel that I am ready now.

“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.”

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