Leeds United’s pursuit of Kyle Bartley means so much more to the fans of the club than any other deal. Bartley is Leeds’ number one target this summer and it was music to the ears of the Leeds faithful when interest was revealed, now the waiting game is in full swing, but signing a defender isn’t the reason for this.

Bartley first and foremost is a very good Championship footballer. The debate over whether he could and can cut in the Premier League will rage on because the evidence was restricted massively by injury this season. Bartley first made  name for himself north of the border at Glasgow Rangers the level not great but the exposure huge at a club that size. old Firm’s are one of the most watched games on the planet and it will make and break players, Bartley was noticed and that was all it would take.

The Arsenal defender moved on to Swansea City but the fans didn’t take to him and it’s fair to say they haven’t since, in fact social media is a great way to establish that Swansea fans aren’t actually that fussed whether he stays or goes. The club will sell the player, they want what they see is a fair price, around £4 million is Leeds’ valuation of the player and they are confident the deal can be done. It was expected a relegation from the Premier League would complicate matters but Bartley has made it clear he wants the Leeds move.

Leeds fans aren’t obsessed with this transfer because he’s a good defender though, there is so much more to this. Kyle Bartley is a leader, he is the leader that Leeds United missed last season. He captained the side as a loan player in 2016/17 and kept the armband after his final game. Everyone at Leeds United wants that armband back out at Elland Road wrapped around his arm, he would instantly command the captaincy and nobody and Leeds would be able to deny him that.

He also kept others around him grounded. Pontus Jansson and Kyle Bartley, a partnership created and one that was dismantled, exposing Pontus Jansson who clearly isn’t the leader we thought he could be, despite being a very good defender. With Bartley alongside him he was allowed to relax slightly as Bartley commanded the defence, Jansson isn’t that sort of character and a return of Bartley would reignite the hope we can have back the defence that almost got us into the play-offs.

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