Many managers entering a new job tend to bend to the old adage of ‘better the Devil you know than the Devil you don’t.’ That proved to be true of Garry Monk taking up the reins at Elland Road and Leeds United.
Monk’s first dabble back at old club Swansea saw the new Whites manager take Swans pair Kyle Bartley and Matt Grimes on loans, bringing the pair to Elland road from the Liberty Stadium.
Later on in the season, using knowledge from his stay at the Liberty Stadium, Monk went to Qatari club Al Arabi and brought in Spaniard Pablo Hernández, in doing so filling that tricky #10 spot with a player naturally more suited to the role. His last ‘raid’ on the South Wales club was to bring in fleet-footed winger Mo Barrow.
It is safe to say that it was a 50/50 split on the success of incoming loans from Swansea links, Bartley and Hernández doing well, with Grimes and Barrow, in all reality, only just about creeping towards the top of the ‘meh’ category of success.
With Leeds fans wanting Kyle Bartley’s return, to rekindle that central partnership with Swede Pontus Jansson and bromance with Luke Ayling, and not caring about Matt Grimes’ return, the Mail Online quote Swansea boss Paul Clement and what he told the pair.
Speaking about their time at Elland Road, Clement reassured the pair on their futures saying: “When I spoke to Matty Grimes and Kyle Bartley at Leeds, I said ‘you’re Swansea players’ and before I look anywhere else I’m going to look at what we have got from within.”
He went on to add: “We want people back pre-season to train and we will go from there.” This stance by the Swansea boss has led to some Whites fans being despondent at the possibility of a Bartley return but, as below, there are green shoots of hope that Leeds will look to make a move to bring in Bartley on a permanent deal.
— Adam Pope (@APOPEY) May 17, 2017
Bartley’s return to Leeds United, despite Clement’s protestations that he will be looked at first beyond Swansea buying players in, would be a vital building block for the Whites as they look to kick on from the successes of last season – successes of which Kyle Bartley was a key member.
Bartley made 45 appearances for Leeds United over the course of their 2016/17 Sky Bet Championship campaign, only missing one game due to an enforced suspension for accumulation of 5+ yellow cards. He also proved to be adept in the opposition box, and a nuisance from set pieces, scoring six goals for the Whites.
So, whilst Clement way well say that, transfer-wise, he is looking ‘within’ at Swansea, Leeds United are looking to take Kyle Bartley without of Swansea in the coming months. Only question is, what amount of cheque book waving will it take to bring the former Arsenal youngster back to Elland Road.